Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jan 27th

Has intermittently been the bane of my nighttime parenting.
I was blessed with a child who fights sleep (much like her mother actually, far too much excitement going on to sleep!).
A 45 minute wonder from dot.
Now, I say blessed, because there is one personality attribute that I completely missed out on when they were handing them out - and that's patience.  And if there is one thing my darling child has forced me (kicking and screaming) into developing, it's patience.  And children are our greatest teachers, are they not?  Right.  

So yes, I am choosing to consider myself blessed for the lesson in patience.  Cos, in all honesty, if I didn't consider it a blessing, I'd be lamenting my curse!  And that's just not constructive to anyone or anything, now is it?

 Of course, I haven't always been this zen-cum-holier-than-thou with my attitude towards her sleep patterns.  Oh no.  I have done my fair share of whinging, whining, shouting, crying, raging, reasoning, negotiating and more whinging and whining (the whinging and whining mostly to the other parent in the conundrum).  And it never got me anywhere.  Other than more frustrated as I perpetuated my star role in the victimhood play I was conducting (woe is me, boo hoo, how sad, yadda yadda).

To trot out another cliche, there is a lot to be said for time and experience.
The inexperienced, petulant child in me used to get her knickers in a knot and often contribute even more angst to the situation.  Yep, that's gonna help with sleep!  On ya!

Whereas the me of now, developed a new technique several months ago and it works marvelously!
It's topical, because I had to pull it out of my parenting tool kit tonight.

Nighttime routine as follows:
Dinner, drink, last play.
Toilet, teeth.
Story and songs.
Snuggle and sleep.

Except when it doesn't go to plan.
"I'm not tired" "I'm thirsty" "I'm hungry".
So I employ the "okay, I need to go have my dinner now.  I would like for you to relax in bed and let sleep come.  I will check on you soon".
10 minutes later... (you know what's coming, don't you?) pitter patter of little feet.

"Back to bed please.  I will be in there soon"
Now the me of old used to lose it.  Stern voice, frowny face, short, sharp words.
But this is how I deal with it now.
2 minutes later I enter her room, snuggle up beside her and start tickling the beejezus out of her.
"So I see I'm going to have to tickle you to sleep, am I?"
"Are you asleep yet?  What about now?  What about now?"

The oxytocin hormones that flow through both our bodies is delicious.
She gets knackered from laughing and fending me off.
She is awash in hormones of love and says things like "I love you so much, I could crack!" (She actually said this to me tonight! *laugh*)
And I scoop my little bundle of gorgeous goodness into my body and sing her softly to sleep.  Which takes all of about 2 minutes. *smile*

(adding the pic again, cos it's so damn gorgeous!)

So, with time and experience comes the opportunity to reframe a situation, yes?
And for that gift, I am truly grateful.


In other news today, I received a poem from a complete stranger.
Which utterly delighted me!
A new recruit in the workplace sat with me for 90 minutes of on-phone time today, for call training purposes.  At the end of the session, she handed me a piece of paper containing this:

Hope and kindness shining bright
With understanding and patience plenty
Never seems to be surprised when
Help is sought and given freely.
(to be replaced with a pic of the actual poem to come)

A simple, but powerful gesture indicating an appreciation of my work that she witnessed.
Wow.  Just wow. *smile*

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