Thursday, March 01, 2007

Have We Cracked It?

Fingers crossed we have.

Since day one Callum has always been a bad sleeper, even as a baby he just wasn't interested in sleep, there were (and still are) too many things going on around him for such simplicities. Daz and I have tried literally every trick in the book and put up with so many sleep deprived nights.

Firstly we tried the controlled crying method which culminated in Callum showing us his Hulk powers and the double gates on his bedroom door being ripped off and thrown across the room... I kid you not. This was after we'd had weeks of the method being in place and still hours and hours and hours each night of the crying and not just by Callum. So that went out the window.

Then there was the withdrawal method (not at all as bad as what it sounds like) which never really seemed to work. After months the furthest away I got was a step away from the bed. That kid of ours just knew as soon as we'd stepped outside his room and start the crying and calling you back routine.

There have been the falling asleep on his floor tricks, letting him fall asleep in our room and transfering him to his bed capers, the quick return method, the try and exhaust him but end up too exhausted yourself tactic and lots more. None ever worked. So it seemed that Daz and I were destined to never have a good nights sleep (and our neighbours too) and to be forever trying to get Callum to go to sleep.

Then last year just before Christmas I said enough is enough. I was fed up with spending hours on end coaxing Callum to sleep and then being woken up in the middle of the night by covers being snatched away and pushed to the edge of the bed and either Daz or moving to the front room to sleep on the sofa. But how could we put an end to this we wondered, we'd tried nearly every trick in the book save for drugging him and obviously we didn't want to do that... well... no honestly it never entered our minds.

Then it hit us and we wondered why we'd both been so dumb... bribery!!! I've come to the conclusion that our son will one day make a good politician he is always open to a good bit of bribery as well as having an answer for everything. So armed with this Daz and I stocked up on the little hot wheels cars that are a firm favourite of Callums (and Daz'). For every night that Callum spent the whole night in his bed without waking us up, in the morning he got to choose one car from a selection of them. Days is all it took for Daz and I to have our bed back to ourselves. Heavenly.

Then disaster struck. A few days before Christmas our boiler broke and we had no heating and the temperature really dropped. WE all bundled up and snuggled for warmth in our bed and so we went straight back to square one. Arrrrgghhh!!! Was this just the way things were meant to be?!?

The boiler was fixed within a few weeks and after the excitement of Christmas was over we once again begain the arduous task of a good nights sleep. This time it took a little longer but we got there. Yay!!! We had our uninterrupted sleep back. The only thing left to do now was to encourage Callum to go to sleep in the evenings without me sitting in there for half an hour or however long it took. See that was the other problem we had, Callum flatly refused to let Daz get him off to sleep, in Callum's words it had to be "Mummy get me to sleep." I love my son and will do anything for him but I also love Daz and the two of us need to spend time together but with the way things were our evenings were spent apart. So you've guessed it... out came the bribery cars. We started this about two weeks ago and to date it's going really well.

Daz and I do the bedtime routine. Daz baths Callum while I hoover the flat, then I get Callum ready for bed and read him a story while he drinks his milk and then miracle of miracles (well after a reminder about the bribe) I can walk out of the bedroom without a screaming crying fit from Callum and with the promise that I will come back in a little while and check on him. I can then get on and tidy up the dinner mess and within about half an hour it seems our little Monkey Monster is fast asleep. So for the moment it seems we have finally cracked the whole sleep problem that has haunted us for years.

Now we just have to see how things work without the bribes becasue we are quickly running out of space to store the what seems like a million and one toy cars.

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