Diary of a sleep deprived mother

4:12am: I peel my eyelids open and hold my breath while I look at the time on my iPhone. Yup. Hello 4's. Here we go again. What I wouldn't GIVE for a morning that started in the 5's! Those birds. Those flipping birds. Singing so early should be illegal. 

4.30: How can The Little One be so AWAKE? How can he be so HAPPY at this time? I get that he’s only two years old and has no worries in the world but really? REALLY?? A total of 5 hours broken sleep doesn’t seem conducive with sustaining life, let alone life with so much energy! An hour and a half until ABC2 starts… YouTube cartoons will suffice. Coffee. Need coffee.

7.20: Gah! It feels like lunchtime but this is what was formally known as ‘early’. Caffeinated energy is doing its job for now. Was supposed to start eating healthy today but bircher chia muesli with five ancient grains and activated almonds just isn’t going to cut it. Helloooooo grilled cheese on vegemite with loads of butter! Come to mama!

8.55: Ready to drop The Big One to kindy – getting two kids out to the car is like trying to catch grasshoppers. Managed to pack a reasonably healthy lunch, fingers crossed the Tiny Teddies don’t warrant confiscation. Honey flavour must be healthier right?

9.03: The Little One does a formidable impression of a plank as I try to clip him in. United Nations-worthy negotiations, tears (mine, not his) and blood blister on my thumb later and I finally have him in. *sigh* We’re going to be late again.

9.15: The Little One is all smiles and charm with the other kindy mums. Everyone coos over him and says in cootchy-coo voices that he couldn’t possibly be as hard as mummy says because he’s such a well-behaved little man. Simultaneously feel like crying and punching someone. Settle on smiling and applying The Big One’s sunscreen as fast as I can and getting OUT of there.

10.15: Time to go to competitive mummying mothers group. Oh how lovely to hear about how little Darcy’s new baby sister is sleeping through already at 13 weeks! I say “Nawwwww, what a good little lady!”, I actually think “Stand back now before I poke you in the eye with this cruskit”. Death by cruskit. Surely I’d get off on sleep-deprivation insanity?

11.50: Back in the car to go home. Alert! We have a code red nodding off situation in the back seat! Take your positions! Cue me maniacally singing his name at the top of my voice and half turning around as I drive to shake his leg so he stays awake. Frantic up-and-down of his electric window so the gusts of air surprise him awake. Nothing works…he nods off 10 minutes before home. I’ve got buckleys of transferring him but nevertheless, with all the care of a covert bomb diffuser I extract him from his car seat and tiptoe with him to his bed. And juuuuust as his head hits the pillow…BING! Eyes fly open! Let the whining begin.

12.10pm: “No, Twisties are not lunch. Eat your sandwich!” times one hundred. I cave – just as The Little One planned. I know I know, must start following through! Not enough energy, flagging, could cry. Twisties are given. Cheese flavor so there must be some dairy in them, right? Peace is restored.   

3.40: A familiar feeling creeps over me and gradually clenches in my stomach: the night is looming and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Who knows what battles I will face tonight? Maybe if we do a better bed routine tonight and try the new lullabies CD a bit louder we might get The Little One off before 8pm and I can go to bed by 9? Maybe? Please?

4.50: Blessed ABC2! Always chipper and never complaining about how much unpaid babysitting it does for me. And it’s kinda educational, right? I mean, Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly have strong British accents – that’s anthropology. And Mr Moon? Astrology! Playschool is OBVIOUSLY educational and Iggle Piggle, well – you have to foster children’s imaginations, right? Sweet sweet ABC2. You are like a member of the family.

6.10: Dinner is another battle. This child seems to exist on snacks alone. No amount of cajoling or bribes can get this kid to eat anything more than toast with whatever tiny bit of protein I can hide under melted cheese. Defeated and the night hasn’t even really started.

8.20: He needs one more story. He needs another cuddle. He needs a kiss from dad. He is thirsty. His room is too dark. His room is too light now. He can hear the TV. He doesn’t like the cat in his room. He’s too cold. His pyjamas are scratchy. His pyjamas are too tight. He’s too hot. He needs to go wee-wees. His music stopped. His music is too loud now. He is hungry. His fingernail is coming off and is annoying. He’s just not tired. He is thirsty again. He needs to do a poo. He needs just one more cuddle. Mama has had enough.

9.50: The load of washing I put on at 6am has been hung out and I finally crawl into bed. If I fall asleep in the next ten minutes I SHOULD get at least four hours straight sleep before The Little One comes into our bed. Tonight is going to be different though – tonight I will take him back and stay firm.

10.40: Okay, really need to go to sleep. If I go to sleep in the next twenty minutes and he sleeps for a bit longer than he normally does then I still might get four hours straight.

Midnight: All is quiet

1.20am: What is THIS?! Earlier than usual and not even two hours sleep for me. I can’t do anything about it  tonight. He can sleep here one more time.

3.15: It’s comfy sleeping with a sweaty toddler draped over you, said no mother ever.

4.37: Groundhog day. Rinse and repeat. SURELY he’ll sleep eventually?


Say! You might also be interested in reading one of these equally enthralling articles:

101 reasons why your toddler won't sleep tonight

Common sleep training mistakes: part one

Common sleep training mistakes: part two

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