And by living it up I mean engaging in daily (and nightly) battle with the above angel-faced toddler whilst she pushes through the terrible two wall of doom or as we call it, the impenetrable toddler barrier to normality. The barrier to giving her old folks a bit of a break, the barrier to saying YES instead of NO all the time, the barrier to sleep, blessed sleep, we need some more sleep, we really do.
It's all our own fault, we decided in our infinite stupidity to take the sides off her cot. We didn't plan it, just happened because her legs got too long for her sleeping bag and so, with much fanfare and plenty excitement, we changed her sleeping arrangements and got her a quilt and pillow.
Unbeknownst to us toddler novices, quilt and pillow equals freedom and adventure. Thus she embarked on ever more dangerous nocturnal manoeuvres to get up and out of the cot and into the world to explore. Seeing as we weren't going to stop her we decided to remove the potential for harm and head bangs, took the cot sides away and now, at the grand old age of two and a half she is in a big girl bed.
This was two weeks ago. We haven't had one night of uninterrupted sleep since. We are knackered. We've been reading all the books, doing all the stuff, hoovering up advice here, there and everywhere (mumsnet), and have succumbed to the joy of the groclock. The groclock. Supposedly the answer to all our 'give us some fucking sleep' questions. The groclock. Not living up to expectations so far.
This cute little clock works (thousands of parents on amazon said so) by showing a blue face and stars when it's night time and an orange face and sun when it is day time. The plan being that Betsy stays in bed when the clock is blue and only gets up and thumps noisily into our room when it's orange.
Not so much.
She's not into it.
Last night she came in five times between midnight and 2am, waking me up, tugging at my heart strings. Asking me to stroke her hair, sit by her bed, get into her (incredibly tiny) bed, sing her songs (pushing it a bit far I think), hold her hand, love her, oh my goodness, in my sleep deprived madness I was doing all of these things, bar the singing, and in the end Darren had to intervene, I had turned into a gibbering wreck. My parenting skills (who am I kidding) strewn around the room like so many broken dreams
Today I went into hardcore prevention mode. I did not let her nap.
She was hanging by bedtime, eyelids drooping, speech slurring. I'm hoping she is so tired that she can't even summon the energy to turn over in her sleep let alone wake up.