My children have taken to sleeping in the master bedroom whenever their daddy is not around. Put them to bed by 8pm and you can be sure they will be in front of my bed by 9:30pm. I tried taking them back the first two days he traveled. But I decided to give myself rest when the same thing repeated itself the third day. Four of us had to manage somehow on the bed… well more like three of them took over while I make do with their leftovers. With children who ride merry-go-round and show taekwondo moves in their sleep, no bed is ever big enough.
Two days to my husband’s return. I told them, when Daddy comes, you will all go to your room. You will not sleep here anymore and they both nodded their heads. Will you come back at night? I asked. “No.” they both chorused. “That’s my girls,” I said with fingers crossed. And we moved on to other things.
The first night my husband came back… let’s say I ended up on the floor. The second night I slept on their bed. Because it made no sense being on the floor while a vacant bed sat pretty in their room. The third day I told them I was going to lock my door and even if they knock I will not open.
Tori respected herself and did not come back. But Nuggie our envelope pusher wanted to know if I meant it. I opened my eyes to see her standing in front of me. “What do you want?” I asked. “I want to drink water” she replied. I always kept water in their room and mine. I said let’s go to your room. She followed me and took the water. “Go back to bed.” I said “No I want to sleep in your room.” she replied.
If they put their mind to it they can let down the waterworks with screaming to make you give in quicker. I can handle that during the day. but at night crying will wake the other two and putting them back to bed was a task I was not ready for.
I had decided to allow her but I tried to bluff one more time. “Mummy I want to sleep in your room…” she repeated. “No, sleep in your own room. I am going to my room and I am locking the door.” I said as I stood up from their bed. She did not say anything, rather she crawled to her pillow and laid down. I stood confused for some seconds before I left as fast as I could before she changes her mind.
I did learn something. Children understand structure all right. If you take out time to tell them your expectations and show them you mean it. If you are not a pushover parent always changing your mind or the rules. I never knew this before but it’s beginning to simplify things for me after I discovered it.
Errm… that is not the end of the story though. I now keep the door locked. They still come knocking every night to see if I have changed the rule but I have stuck to my guns. What’s a red-eye compared to when they will get the memo that mummy isn’t kidding this time around (soon, I hope). And I get to sleep uninterrupted fully stretched out… they are sure teaching me a thing or two on tenacity.
Long story short… I have a new alarm clock. Mummy, its morning! Is the tone.
PS: 81 more days to the book launch of Evados children storybook…