19 October 2007

Nighty-night dilemma.

One is two and a half. The other soon five. They share a bedroom. With both parents there, it works fine. One parent puts Abbe to bed and the other reads a good book to his big brother. When Abbe has fallen asleep, you can sneak in to big brother’s bed. He has become a bit spoilt and expects to always fall asleep with one of us parents next to him.

But when you’re alone, when mum is not at home at bedtime, for some reason … that’s when it gets complicated.

To put them to bed at the same time doesn’t work. It’s far too exciting. Abbe plays up a bit, which big brother thinks is great fun. He giggles and Abbe gets even more wound up. So – one at the time is what works best.

I’m sitting with Abbe. He has always been very easy to put to bed, just a matter of putting him to bed, giving him a cuddle and then – goodnight. You could then leave and he would fall asleep himself. It’s not like that anymore. So I’m sitting there, hoping Abbe will fall asleep before the children’s TV programme is finished, as it’s keeping big brother occupied. Nope, of course Abbe doesn’t fall sleep. I’m now hoping the following youth programme will keep big brother captured for a while and that it won’t be too spoky or unsuitable for a four-year-old.

But, no. Just as Abbe is about to fall asleep, just when he has closed his eyes and is just a few seconds from crossing the border to the land of dreams... Just then, big brother gets fed up with being alone in front of the telly. He bursts into the room, says something, Abbe wakes up and it’s back to square one.

I’ve tried to explain. "If you just wait a little bit longer, dad will be with you. The more you keep coming in, the longer it will take”. But how is he supposed to understand? He is longing for his dad and doesn’t want to sit alone in front of the telly. And I don’t want him to, either. I want to read him a book. But for every time he comes into their bedroom, well …

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