I've always needed a lot of sleep, long before Joshua was even a twinkle in my eye. I think it's down to having a high metabolism and the fact that I am quite tall and skinny-I have no reserves and get tired really easily. It's not usually a problem generally, although my family, friends and my partner always joke about how grumpy I am if you wake me up. Grumpy/Rude/Agrressive/Mean...same thing!
So being a sleep lover and needing a lot of it, the mornings always seem to come too quickly for me. No sooner have I finally been able to shut my eyes and drift of in to the land of nod...than I'm woken up by the dastardly birds singing their annoyingly cheerful morning song. Most mornings the only way to rouse me is if I imagine pointing my boyfriends BB gun at them and pulling the trigger! Anyway, you can imagine my enthusiasm the last few days as Joshua has decided on a new wake-up time. A time that starts with a number "5" at the front. I am not a happy mummy. As he began his morning routine of grizzling as his way to alert me to the fact he was ready to get up I happened to glance at the clock and realise how early it was. I have been known to say some of the worst, most nasty things when I'm waking up, this morning was no exception! Huffing and Puffing (ok... f'ing and blinding more like!) I began to feel my grumpiness morph in to guilt and sympathy after my sons re-inserted dummy was spat out and crying commenced. It went on for half an hour before he finally went back to sleep for only 30 minutes. Hey hum, at least a wake-up time with a "6" in front seemed slightly more reasonable and far less alien!
Then there is the whole meal time fiasco. It's as if my well behaved, textbook baby boy has turned in to this horrible toddler who all of a sudden is being a right monkey, for no other reason than just "because". He won't eat meals, at all. Refuses all food, including his beloved bread sticks and raisens at snack time, and walks around grumpy all day which I assume is caused by his rumbling tummy. I try cooking his favourites-"no deal" he tells me. So then I resort back to toast and jam, the only thing he will even touch which lasts for a few mouth fulls and then he pushes that away too. This is combined with the fact that he can't feed himself properly yet with a spoon, only his fingers, and has recently decided that anything passed to him on a spoon is reason enough to refuse it-if he's not doing it, it 'aint getting in! I can't help but wonder if his stubborn attitude towards food is perhaps the reason he wakes early-after all I firmly followed Gina Ford Routine which is all about giving a child 24 hours worth of food and drink in the wakeful 12 hours of daytime...hmmmm.
Oh and then to top it off he's filling his nappy the second he goes to sleep. He's nearly 20 months old and yet hasn't grown out of pooping the second his head hits the pillow. It causes all sorts of problems because I can't leave him to sleep in it all night, that would be horrible for the poor little man but likewise when I have to change it (in the dark may I add) I have to take every precaution not to wake him up properly in the process-it becomes a game of murder in the dark-as in, I often get covered/murded in poop! Lovely!
So this morning as I watched the single dad who lives in our block of flats, load his two children in to his car (him in his funeral blacks and them running around like looney children, doing everything they could to run him ragged) I felt my parenting mood disintegrate a little. I'm in one of those moods today where if I saw a pregnant woman I would probably want to pat her on the head and say "there-there" in sympathy at what's to come!
Has my son been replaced with another child, is this normal behavior? Will it stop? How can I change it? These questions are running through my head and on top of everything else recently I am exasperated to the point where I've run out of everything emotionally. Now rather than feeling like a failure on the parenting front and doing everything in my power to change it, I am now left with just the feeling of failure. I don't have the mental mind space to motivate myself to do better, I'm just wallowing in failure and stress. I need someone to tell me how to parent right now, the lack of a parenting manual has never felt more imperative than right now! Why is it we spend our lives waiting and wanting to reproduce and yet no-one has been able to provide a government issued parenting manual to accompany new offspring? I am all for pregnant women being issued an instruction manual on how to handle parenthood, Lord knows, right now I need one!
Speaking of manual-here's one I found on line-what do you think?!
Love Chloe xx