Henry is nine weeks old now. Any new parent will agree, the first few weeks are a blur. This is largely due to the fact that you don’t really get much sleep with the little ones waking & feeding etc. I have to get up at 4am for work, so I’ve been fortunate that my wonderful wife has taken care of all the feeding duties during the week. The night feeds still wake me up though…usually about an hour before I actually need to get up. That means I rarely go back to sleep! More often than not, I just get up and go to work!! So…in a nutshell it’s been a sleepy couple of months.
But something big has just happened, something all new parents dream of. One of the ‘new baby’ milestones. Not his first smile, nor his first tooth…
In the last week…HENRY SLEPT THROUGH!!!!
When this happens, it warrants a major celebration . You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. No more jet lag feelings during the day (the sleep deprived jet lag, not the one that come’s with the benefit of a long haul holiday). Regaining the ability to function properly. No more forgetting what you’re talking about mid sentance…and the end of the ‘where did I put my car keys’ game! Crack open the bubbly…and welcome back Mr eight hour sleep!
But wait…not so fast! Just when we thought we had this sleep lark sussed, Freddie has decided he’ll have a go at waking up!
Freddie (almost 3) has always been a brilliant sleeper. From a young age he went to bed with no fuss, if he woke up he was always able to self soothe. He always slept though most of the night and the only time he’d wake would be if he was ill.
So what’s going on Freddie?
It tends to start around 11pm. Just as your hitting the full on deep sleep, the cry begins from his room – ”mummy….daddy…’
I go in and give him a cuddle, he says ‘I love you Daddy’ and rolls over and goes back to sleep. About twenty minutes later…off we go again! This carries on until 1 or 2am. Some experts suggest it might be nightmares, other suggest…oh, that’s it actually!
Then…the other night, Freddie took it to a whole new level. After a few of his usual wake ups, I heard him in quite a soft voice saying ‘Daddy…Daddy’. I opened my eyes and saw him stood at the side of my bed. When I asked him if he was ok, he responded with ‘I sleep in your bed Daddy’.
Now this wasn’t completely unusual. If he’s ill or freaked out, he’ll occasionally come into our bed. But what happened next clearly set out my role in the family…and more importantly, my position in the pecking order.
He got into our bed, in between my wife and me. Then…he came out with these words:
‘You get out Daddy. You sleep downstairs’.
There was no negotiation possible. When I tried, he got more irate…insisting that my place this evening was not in my own bed! He would prefer that I find an alternative place to sleep.
So, I was relegated to the sofa! Kicked out of my marital bed by my son…who is almost 3 years old.
What would be next? Will I be served the last portion of dinner once everyone else has taken the best bits? Will I have to sit in the boot when we go out in the car on a family trip? Will I eventually be moved into the shed…permanently? I hope not. I guess what this does mean is that it’s time to find a bigger house, with a spare room for nights like these.
If we don’t, it could well be the end of the eight hour sleep…FOREVER!!