Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).
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15 May 2017

Bed-Returning Mute Robot...

Babyboy2 has finally realised he can get out of bed.
Yes I know it sounds obvious to you. Just fall out.
There's nothing stopping him. No barriers. Nothing.
I just hadn't occurred to his wonderful little brain to do so.

Somehow we have managed to convince BabyBoy2.
That once you're in bed that is where you stay. I know amazing right!
It's been lovely and thank you BabyBoy2 for the few months it has been like this.
Of course it has now stopped.
And BabyBoy2 is a terror at bedtime.

(BabyBoy2: ‘If only there was some way to escape this thing…
I could run about in the dark upstairs for hours, not sleeping!’)

To be fair BabyBoy2 is not great at staying in bed in the morning.
A huge three days it took before he was getting up early and coming to find us in the morning. Which is fair enough as the sun is up. Sun up, baby up.
He is always so excited to see us at the start of a new day. It’s hella cute.
Us not so much.
It’s...It’s only <Eyes starting to focus> … It’s 4:45am! Urghhhh
Normal has a load of toys with him.
Ready to play.
Owwww! My face!!!

Whilst we may have done well with BabyBoy2.
It was not so good with Boy9 and Miss6. In fact with Boy9 we were rubbish.
Running to check him on the slightest noise. Sitting in his room. Sitting outside of his door for decades waiting for the smegger little angel to fall asleep. Hours and hours of waiting for someone to sleep. Creeping about like mice. Getting water. Warming teddies. Story after story.
Seeesh. <Shakes head at us>
If we only knew then what we know now.

We were better with Miss6.
A bit. But not amazing. She did always seem to need a teddy bear that was missing, and I'd spend ages hunting for the ted only to find it in her bed...

I've... I've failed you... <Looks sad about it...>
I looked everywhere...
<Tucks Miss2 in>
<Finds teddy in her hands>
... <Leaves room>
[Swearing noises]

The difference for Babyboy2.
Is that Team Parent (yay!) are already busy putting the other two to bed (after BabyBoy2).
So Babyboy2 isn't technically ignored. We can hear him. We're just busy. So until now he went with it. And slept.
<Team Parent (yay!) high five>

Or, much like Miss6 used to.
BabyBoy2 lays in bed, singing and talking away for a while. And then crash out.
All very, very cute and adorable. I've got it recorded somewhere. Which I won't share as it's a video of a door and you can just about hear BabyBoy2 nattering away to himself.
And whilst no one else will care about that video.
To me it's hilarious priceless.

Team Parent (yay!) are determined.
Utterly determined not spend the next two years watching someone that doesn't want to sleep, go to sleep. Or fight them back into bed over and over and over. Or spend the evening running various bits and bobs up to a small terror.
No.
Until now it has not been a problem. But after mere two nights of BabyBoy2 not staying in his bed. A two hour fun pacted bedtime. Team Parent (yay!) called a snap election meeting.
The thrust of which was - ‘Uh uh. No way. He's staying in bed’

The plan is simple.
Low engagement. Which is lucky as my ignoring low engagement skills are pretty tuned up at the moment...

Boy9: 'I can't sleep I'm too hot'
<Glances up, but quickly goes back to tele> Remove your blankets and take off your socks, and top... and that fur coat...
Miss6: 'I can't sleep it's too bright'
<Doesn't glance up> Close your eyes when you are in bed...
Boy9: 'My rooms in fire'
<Says nothing> <Passes cup of water> <Sees doctor in the morning>
Miss6: 'I think the house is about to explode'
<Puts in earplugs>

So a Team Parent (yay!) plan / pact has been made.
BabyBoy2 is to be put to bed. All happy and fun. Lovely stories. Giggles. Cuddles. Kisses.
Sweet lovely time with our baby boy.
But once the door is shut.
Once the official bed time period is over...

No talking.
Little eye contact.
Back in bed.
Sheets on.
Leave room.
Shut door.
Run.
Repeat.

Because there is only one way to win the stay in bed game.
Be the one that wants to go to sleep. And I win that every time.
But if your competitor is a two year old, that just loves opening doors and running back to bed, it's a lot harder to get the win.
For me there is only one way that works. Every Most of the time.
Become a Bed-Returning Mute Robot.

(Mrs. Amazing: ‘Keep BabyBoy2 safe… and in bed… ‘
Beep beep Ooo-ooooo!!!
Mrs. Amazing: ‘My hair looks like whos?
<Whistles>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘... Who?’
ooooo)

These are my Bed-Returning Mute Robot rules (for me) (for reference) (that I forget most of the time):

1. Do the same thing over and over.
Make sure you expect a different outcome each time. Really. Aim for madness.
I go for:
Push Encourage back to bed.
Sheets over. Ignore if they are kicked off.
Leave. Give nothing.
Shut door.
Repeat.

And No deviation. Bore him to sleep.

2. No talking.
Not even a 'night dude'. I am a mute robot.
Although should a bad smell be in the room. Then I may have to enquire about poo and the nappy situation. But that's really it.
If I can answer with a point or just by passing something. I do that.
You know that scene in ‘Friends’ where Ross is playing poker and he says 'Once the cards are dealt...'. Early Friends.
Well the same with bedtime. ‘Once it's bedtime…’

3. I must not sit in the room. Ever.
It always starts with a few mins here. There. Then a week later I’m sat on the floor for four hours, finished Candy Crush, again. And I’ve read the entire internet.
And am now late for bed myself.

4. No eye contact.
Not avoiding eye contact. That would be mean.
But I don't stare into those beautiful blue eyes. Don't get lost in those Disney eyes. They are magic. And bewitching.
Pretend you are putting to bed Miss6 Kaa from Jungle book.

(Beautiful!)


5. Be unpredictable.
When BabyBoy2 slowly opens his door and peers out. I am in a different place each time.
Halfway down the stairs. To the left of his door. To the right.
Lurking in the bathroom. Sprawled out on my bed weeping. On top of the cupboard. In the pub with a video hook up, BABYBOY2 THIS IS YOUR FATHER...
Each time I leave the room. I stand / rest somewhere different.
I mix it up.

6. Have something to do.
For me that's my phone. Games. Things to write (this in fact). As minutes become hours and I've put BabyBoy2 back to bed for the seven hundred time. Having something to fill the time in-between is essential. Mrs. Amazing tends to have a book with her.
Boredom can cause me to short circuit with anger.

7. React with different speeds.
This totally seems to throw him off track.
Sometimes I am there at the door as it opens. Ready to coax him back to bed.
Other times I finish my game. Write a bit. Finish my tea. Then spring into action.
I am a Bed-Returning Mute Robot Ninja and amusing myself.

8. Accept the game you are playing for what it is.
It is a game of attrition. No fun. Repetition. I am trying to make this the boring game ever. As BabyBoy2 clearly thinks this is a game.
And there is no way he’s winning.
I’ve a rep to protect (I have not).

And after a few hours of this. Nightly.
You too can feel like a Bed-Returning Mute Robot.
Beep beep booooop (*‘In your face Good luck!’)
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