This is a 3 part series about SLEEP in our house. Today – as a toddler.
Before Nemo was one year old, our ‘precarious domestic situation’ (sic), ended and we went into a phase of tremendous changes, adventures even: There were reasons for me to be rather unsettled and worried. We went on extended overseas travels due to severe family illness and for immigration, we moved house a few times. Finally, we fully settled in Australia and ‘we got married to Awesome’.
Looking back, I believe I managed to do one thing : For Nemo, these were years of safety, activity and presence. He finally slept his nights through. We spend our days outside, on playgrounds, in parks, exploring cities, meeting children, people, animals. Wherever we lived, we played, read and crafted together. Every day. He was a very happy toddler in a happy toddler world.
And bedtime ? The ‘sleepy train’ I had been waiting for in vain for so long now came in the form of clear, understandable signals! So easy : standing one hand holding his head meant “uh, getting tired”; holding his head with two hands meant “ready for my bed !”. And it looked pretty cute too.
Now I remember clearly my parents’ “You’re tired. Time for bed” – always when little me was ready to party with the grownups! (Or so I thought). Not so with Nemo. With or without regular naps in the day, most nights, Nemo was happy to be put in his (travel) cot, and after some bedtime routine, it was ok for me to leave the room. Did he fall asleep ? No.
he would stand for hours in his cot and play with his hair, as if he just needed a bit of ‘a moment’ to think about the day.
My son has never ever fallen asleep while I was reading to him. He would occasionally fall asleep with a song – or the repetition of the same song for a good 20 min – on a very tired day. But most days, he would just stay awake – forever. Peacefully, he would sit or even stand in his cot and play with his hair, like he just needed a bit of ‘a moment’ to think about the day. And that moment lasted an hour or two…I would check stealthily, passing by his half-open door – and he would look right at me, like a little ghost!
PHOTO: FLICKR VIA KEVINLAW
But actually, I wasn’t worried about it. Ever seen the horror scenes of kids in “supernanny” not going to bed? Exactly. He got lots of sleep with the naps in the day.. Certainly, this would somehow arrange itself ?
Next part : sleep today.. shortly here.
Read here about Nemo, “Like a baby. Sleep.. pretty PLEASE!