Step-by-step guide on to how to stay sane when your young child wakes up at 4:34 at night
Tell him it’s night-time and that everyone’s sleeping and why is he awake at four thirty
Tell him no, it’s not eight and he can’t have any breakfast until it’s light outside
Suggest he goes back to his bed. Anticipate his screaming and quickly add that you could also sleep with him in the guestroom
Pretend you’re sleeping while he’s pulling your fingers and sticking his nails underneath your nails
Shout at him that you’re tired, in pain and that he needs to sleep (Shouting, followed by guilt, has a calming effect on the mother)
Try tickling his back following his complicated and elaborated instructions
Have him shout at you for having your eyes closed because “sleeping is boring”
Give up on life
Tell him to go downstairs and watch his tablet. Prove you’re a good mum by adding that he should cover himself with a blanket (Your job here is done.)
Forget you have children and go back to sleep. You have half an hour until the other child wakes up complaining she’s scared to be by herself in her bedroom and why is Benny not in his bed and why can Benny watch his tablet and no, she won’t get dressed because it’s not fair, mama!
I was tucking the kids into bed, giving them a goodnight hug and a kiss when Benny said:
“Mama, smell my hand.”
“What? Uh. Why does it smell so bad?”
“I just put it up my bum.”
And then they both laughed at me.
I feel strangely proud that we’re raising a couple of weirdos.