You are waiting for that one glass of wine, that touch of what life once was, when you were out every night, dining at the latest restaurant. You wouldn’t change it for the world, Sofia is amazing but you just want her to go to sleep on her own.
First you need to navigate the range of anti-sleep deploys she is going to make. Now at nearly 3 she is potty trained, conversational and most importantly obstructive. This is roughly how the evening goes before wine.
She is usually bed bound around 7.30 to 8. First is a prolonged discussion on why it can’t be daddy bedtime tonight and bed should be done my mum, I am already creeping to the wine cabinet as Sofia cries for mum but it’s not quite that simple. It’s my turn and she will like daddy bedtime. Never yet has she cheered for daddy bedtime.
What happens then is story selection, this is usually two stories, the same two stories from a range of twenty. Every time it is Pepper Pig and daddy being humiliated through his inability to put up a picture, losing his keys or buying back his old chair for the cost of a new school roof. You are already wanting a wine as Sofia laughs at Daddy Pig and says that’s you. You remind her of the pictures around her room and how well they’ve been put up, the house hasn’t fallen down yet.
Some more milk, a dummy swap and then sleep. Nope, there is now a need for a toilet break. Out of bed, potty, back to bed. More conversation on where mummy is and what is happening tomorrow. More milk, dummy scraped along the wall. Some leg kicks. Song time. I have a small set consisting of some old Beatles songs and nursery rhymes. Given the amount of music I’ve listened to over the years there are only a few songs I know.
Now we have more milk. Dummy swap, bit of tossing and turning. Holding of your hand, She has her eyes closed now. This is the final stretch, that glass of wine is poured downstairs maturing as it sits there waiting. You waiting for the signs of sleep, get it wrong and you have a twenty minute delay as you start the cycle again. Dummy suck, deep breathing, quiet… you are there, she is asleep. You creep towards the door, any poor movement could lead to her waking.
You close the door carefully. You are there. It’s been a blast. It’s usually around thirty minutes before sleep, a bad night an hour of sitting there. Forget your phone and you have lost connection to the outside world, trapped in your own thoughts. Worst case you fall asleep also, waking after a short doze. After a long day it’s all too easy.
You get downstairs and sip the wine. Groundhog Day starts again a day later. I’ve not managed to have a conversation as to why she doesn’t like daddy bedtime. The conversation goes something like “why don’t you like daddy bedtime”, “I don’t like daddy bedtime”, “why”, “I like mummy bedtime”, “why?”, silence, “daddy reads good stories”, so daddy bedtime is ok”, “yes”, “daddy bedtime tomorrow?”, “no mummy bedtime, I don’t like daddy bedtime”. Irrational. sip wine.