Monday, 3 January 2011

Hopes and dreams

(Warning - Contains nothing but comments on parenthood. Very dull indeed.)

(Warning - All children are different. If you have/are planning to have a child, none of this may be remotely relevant. But it may still be dull)

So, if you've ever had to conceal yourself from a Raston Warrior Robot, you'll know how hard it is to stay perfectly still for what seems like a very lobg time, terrified that the slightest movement will cause catastrophe. Such is trying to get Fergus to sleep.

Getting Fergus to sleep is pretty much our sole obssession these days. Indeed, I'm not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow as this involves getting up too early, trying not to wake Fergus, going to work, possibly working, coming home to a frazzled Kate, saying hello to Kate, saying hello to Fergus, feeding Fergus, bathing Fergus and then trying to get him to go to sleep.

The saying hello bit and the bathing bit are good fun, but don't last all that long before the going to sleep bit begins. Which is where trouble starts.

Fergus really doesn't like going to sleep. He likes sleeping. He's been known to sleep for 7 hours without waking. He'll usually give you at least 3, and in the middle of the night he'll usually drop off immediately after a feed. But in the daytime, when he's meant to be napping for at least 4 hours, and in the evening, when he's meant to go down at some early hour, he has a pathalogical aversion to dropping off. Even the slightest suggestion that you intend to do a bit of gentle rocking and shssshing is met with a tantrum, and if you place him in his crib before he's totally, absolutely and completely asleep, he gets very cross indeed. And even if you do succeed in getting him down, there's a fair chance that he'll wake up an hour later and get very cross indeed.

I'd never imagined that being the parent of a baby could be so full on. For Kate, it's basically a 24 hour minus whatever he sleeps job. Of course, she gets less sleep than him, because she has to get him to sleep, and make sure he's really asleep before putting him down. This can take an hour. In the daytime, she has the time to take a shower and sometimes eat breakfast before he needs to be played with, taken out for walks (the only way he manages to nap in the day), fed, changed, taken for another walk, then played with until dad gets home. For me, work is a break, and I don't have to get up in the night (well, most nights I don't) but the hours between getting home and going to sleep are probably 75% trying to get Fergus to sleep.

Not that either of us regret having him, as he's bubbly, engaging and friendly (when not tired). But it's harder work than either of us had ever imagined.

At some point, I guess, he'll get used to going to sleep on his own. At which point I'll be able to go down the pub again!

1 comment:

Juliette said...

This sounds like a carbon copy of our life at the moment. Except Owen doesn't go to sleep easily after a night feed... The tricky bit s deciding when he's suffuicientl asleep to risk movng him - too soon and you have to start again from scratch and too late and you eat into the sleep you could be getting yourself.