Maternity leave fast became a distant memory as Darling Wife returned to work two weeks ago, and I have been at home wrestling with my demons in the more literal sense. With this sudden change in family dynamic, I wondered (dreaded?) if there would be any apparent effect on the kids…
I should not have been worried. The answer, of course, is OF COURSE! May as well just throw in a face-palm for good measure…
Bedtime has become something of a minefield, more so than usual. Now that Darling Wife is at work for most of the day, the kids only really see her in the evenings and at weekends – It’s a bit like a Talk Plan from your selected mobile phone company, except with a bit less stress and a good deal more unintentional international calls (always made when one of your cherubs grabs your mobile phone). With the children in my care for most of the day, when ‘Mummy’ comes home, she becomes something of a novelty. If she happens to come into #1’s bedroom to say ‘Night night’, he starts to play up and won’t settle for anything less than ‘Mummymummymummymummy’…
During the nights, #2 has been waking up to 5 times a night, just for a little mummy-comfort. Not exactly the best sleep solution for a woman who suffered with bouts of insomnia during pregnancy and has a job that can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. Darling Wife does the best she can, and I help wherever and however I can, but she still ends up exhausted and running on empty.
However, one interesting side effect that has presented itself recently has been the increase in #1’s sleep-talking. He frequently made noises during the night, and occasionally awoke and called out for me, but he rarely spoke in his sleep. Certainly, the possibility of proper sleep-talking is increasing as his speech develops quicker and quicker, but last night was the first time that I understood exactly what was going on in his head.
The encounter went something like this:
03:00am – I hear a voice begin repeating a strange noise every few seconds, increasing in volume and frequency, and prompting me to get out of bed to investigate and subdue.
Upon entering #1’s bedroom, the floor creaked, and I’m not talking your subtle whispery creak. Oh no, ladies and gentlemen. I’m talking Haunted House of Horrors creaking of the sort usually reserved for waking even the most stubbornly dead! But #1 didn’t even stir. He just lay there, eyes closed, muttering in some strange language.
As I drew closer, I realised that he was in fact still asleep, and suddenly I could make out what he was saying.
Me: ‘What’s the matter?’
Me: What’s that?
#1: ‘Ooh, tair. High tair.
Me: ‘HIgh chair?’
#1: ‘Yeah. High tair. Fall.’
Me: ‘You fell out of your high chair?’
Me: ‘Are you dreaming?’
I laugh and he smiles in his sleep.
Me: ‘Then roll over and go back to sleep’.
He rolls over and cuddles into the duvet.
#1: ‘Bye Bye, Daddy’.
I am trying to decide whether the things that children say in their sleep hold any indications as to their state of mind, or whether I should just assume insignificance and start recording these conversations for future entertainment value…
Answers on a postcard…