A rather bad habit has developed over the past six weeks with my son and his going to be routine.
Now, I need to tell you a bit of history about S and his bedtime.
I was a very anxious mother from the moment I brought my son home from hospital.
When he cried, I picked him up. All the time. No controlled crying in our house. In fact, I thought how fantastic it was that he would fall asleep so quickly and easily in my arms. I could move him out of the car and into his cot without any problems.
Crying babies make me very anxious. Even now, if I hear a baby cry I think it should be picked up and held until it stops crying.
One day the local mother craft nurse came around and saw that S was asleep in my arms. She warned me that if he did not learn to sleep on his own there would be problems years down the track.
I just thought "well, I don't give a fuck, it makes me happy to pick him up, makes him happy and I am prepared to do it".
Another time I took him to the doctor with an earache and some mention was made that S had been in our bed at night. The doctor asked me if this was common and I said it was. He then said to me that he was not concerned about my son's earache, but more about the fact that he was in our bed so much still at the age of eight.
And I was prepared to do all the other things to help him sleep like let him sleep in our bed if he woke up. Which until early this year he did for about five nights each week.
For years one of us would lay with him in bed until he went to sleep (and us). Then do a very, very careful movement to get out of bed without him waking up, then more careful movements to get out of the room and avoid the creaking floor board or he would wake up. This stopped at just past age nine when I had to take a hard line and force him to go to sleep on his own. It was a traumatic week for us all. But he managed.
Nothing is to be moved in his room or he cannot go to sleep. He actually does not shut his eyes to go to sleep, he just keeps them wide open until they drop shut. Once I moved a picture on his wall and he could not go to sleep as he liked to stare at it to sleep. He tells me that if he shuts his eyes he sees monsters.
He still sleeps with the light on. Not just a small light, but the entire room is lit. We have recently started turning it off once he goes to sleep as he requested us to do it.
He also has had a cd playing audio books and he has listened to hundreds of hours of great novels as he goes to sleep.
But a few weeks ago K let him watch a Tintin dvd on the portable player whilst he would go to sleep.
I was a bit annoyed about this as I have a rule about televisions or dvd's in a bedroom, especially a child's.
Watching a dvd does not help a child get to sleep, it keeps them awake. I walk in to his bedroom and he is lying there like a zombie with his eyes fixed on the action. And it is ten o'clock at night!
So I have said to K that since he allowed it, he has to disallow it.
That was weeks ago. S is still watching dvd's to go to sleep. He knows every Tintin dvd in such great detail that he has started noticing little faults with the background scenery. As he also reads the books, he is able to tell me any mistakes being made in the dialogue.
Looks like I might have to be miss bossy boots again.