Dad-D, Skye and The A-mazing 10 Week Adventure!By Iain Millard 2nd March 2015
I’ve come to thinking that parenting is a little bit like being lost in a maze. You know where you want to go but you’re not sure how to get there and sometimes you can turn a corner only to find yourself back where you started. Skye’s bedtime routine has been a bit like that.
The rose tinted Skye that I've written about in previous blogs will always be rose tinted to me but there have been times when rain clouds have gathered and there have certainly been some thunderstorms! When Skye's tantrums started in earnest last summer, a good six months before she turned two, I jokingly saw it as an indication of her being advanced for her age!
Our summer holiday in France witnessed a lot of "rage against the machine" and for a while putting Skye to bed was seemingly a never-ending task of Herculean proportions and one that Skye insisted was carried out by Louise. Eventually, in September a corner was turned, and Dad-D was invited back to the "Bedroom Book Club" referred to in my November blog!
Then at the end of November after a mum and daughter break back in Scotland, the dependence on Louise returned and this time it wasn't only Louise Skye seemed to need. Having previously only "needed" her water bottle, a mussy, Ewan the sheep and a final "One minute" cuddle just before she got into bed, Skye went to "needing" her water bottle, TWO mussies (referred to as her "two"), Ewan the sheep, Pooh Pooh Bear, Koola Bear, Bubble the giraffe, Bunny, Upsy-Daisy AND her torch AND "two minutes" worth of cuddles. Inevitably bedtime began to take longer and longer.
This was then exacerbated by a combination of chicken pox and a chesty cough which meant Skye was constantly waking through the night and calling for Louise with my attempts to help simply met with "Go away Dad-D! Hut the door Dad-D!" Then one night, poor Louise - four months pregnant and at breaking point - ended up sleeping with Skye on a sofa bed in Skye's room just to get some proper sleep and it proved to be an accidental turning point.
Skye decided that she no longer wanted to sleep in her cot necessitating the purchase of Skye’s first big girl's bed. Initially, the late-to-beds (the excitement of a new I-can-get-out-of-this bed), the waking during the night (usually because her duvet has slipped off) continued and in the mornings my two-going-on-fifteen-year-old daughter has simply been burying herself under the duvet and brushing aside my attempts to raise her for nursery with “Hut curtains Dad-D! Hut blind!”
But gradually things have changed for the better. Skye’s started calling for me during the night and I’m back doing bedtime. Skye gets two stories before she gets into bed, one story in bed with only Olaf and her water for company, followed by two songs once the lights are out. We’re even getting to nursery early enough to ensure I can make it to work on time. How long this will last I don’t know but, with number 2 arriving in June, I hope for some time.
Another corner has been turned in our journey and many more will be turned. Like walking through a maze, some will yield frustration and others delight for both parent and child but each is an equal part of the adventure.
In the last 10 weeks alone Skye’s made her first trip to the cinema to see Shaun the Sheep; started dance classes and been introduced to hip-hop by FUN DMC! She’s also had ten different best friends. Megan, Ava, Noah, Bo, Mia, Lucas, Talia, Thomas, Daddy and, of course, Olaf. Quite something in 10 weeks but in her defence, 10 weeks in the 114 weeks Skye has been on the planet is the equivalent of approximately 4 years of my 2,509 weeks. For those of you who have ever wondered why the summer holidays used to seem to go on forever, there's your answer!
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