When Monsters Become Angels

Have you ever had an evening that seemed to last forever? In which you thought "Argh. They are never going to sleep"?!

We've had so many I have lost count. Our youngest frequently stays up past bedtime, running around the lounge playing with toys while Aaron and I just curl up on the sofa and snooze. I don't know how they get so much energy in the evening. Oh right, yes, that dinner time nap won't help. 

We have a bedtime routine, we've been trying since my eldest was born but he used to be an awful sleeper so around 2 years old we forced him into the bath, bottle and then bed routine. I remember those first 3 nights well, my Son screaming "downstairs, downstairs" and with each minute that goes on, getting closer to giving up, but it happens and BOOM routine. Then there is no going back and it's amazing. 

If a late nap gets in the way it can mess bedtime up. My eldest settles really well after bath time and even falls asleep before story time sometimes. Even with the late nap he just lays in bed awake listening to stories. He's a dream. For my youngest, however, a late nap can be disastrous. 

When he's older I will be stricter but for now, we give in and take him downstairs through fear of his screams or hyper running around waking up his older brother. The other night I got out of the shower, Aaron had been playing guitar in the boys room sending my eldest to asleep. Then, Aaron had to go downstairs as there was a knock on the door. I was in our bedroom getting dressed and I could hear my youngest giggling away, so I walked in and he'd gotten in his big brother's bed and was shoving his fingers in a sleeping his mouth, poor boy. My eldest couldn't have looked cuter sleeping there unaware that his brother was tormenting him. He was also cute because he was no longer demanding TV/food/me to do something. 

My youngest Son was sort of cute being mischievous. What wasn't so cute was when he got downstairs and decided to start emptying out the toy box. Neither was the fact we could barely hear the TV as he was so hyper. It wasn't brilliant either when he poured milk all over the sofa saying "Uh oh". 

But that moment, that precious moment when his arm flops to his side whilst he's laying sprawled out on his Dad, when his lip just parts ever so slightly and you can hear a soft snore. That moment when his eyelids are shut and relaxed. That moment and the terror child becomes cute. The monster becomes an angel.

So I carefully pick up my sleeping child, as if it was the most precious parcel that I needed to deliver somewhere very special, I creep through the lounge, up the stairs hoping that no floorboards will creak. I tread ever so carefully across their room, hoping no toys or teddies will spring and surprise me and I tread on them creating such a loud singing chorus of tunes from them. I pray mostly that the Megabloks/ Duplo has not been left out creating more injury from myself than you could imagine. Finally, I reach the cot, lowering the child ever so carefully, he stirs so I quickly place my hands firmly against him and stroke him and hush hush. Then the roll happens, the best manoeuvre invented for parents and I'm free! Do not celebrate yet, I remind myself. I tip toe ever so carefully to the monitor and switch it on. Since when was a switch so loud?! Done. Now time to tip toe out of the room. Oh crap! The door creaked and then shut louder then expected.... So, I put my ear to the door, silence. 

Phew, I let out a big deserved sigh. Now its time to tackle the stairs again. 

Once I have reached the safety of the sofa and have my TV programme on, a glass of wine in hand and I feel this immense feeling of calm. My batteries are beginning to feel charged. I can talk to the hubby now, watch zombies and blood and guts. This is my happy place. After a few minutes, I start to feel a pang. Something is missing, I am so used to having a child clinging to me or being spoken to by little voices, so I unlock my phone and go to my photos to have a look at any I may have taken that day, or even old ones. The pang, the feeling in my gut gets bigger. Oh, how I now miss my sleeping beautiful angels. Any tantrum, fight or challenging part of the day has vanished. It's like I am now looking through a special lens and only the good parts of the day and parenting is shining through. I love being a parent, I love bedtime; it is so refreshing. 

So, before I get into bed, I open their bedroom door and walk in, ever so quietly. I plant a firm kiss on their forehead so they know they are loved and the last thing that I think about at night and I just pray that I don't wake them up. I then get myself into bed and I'm done for the day. I am ready to curl up and sleep the night away, feeling snug and happy knowing my children are in the next room, safe and sound asleep. I always think and say to my husband, they are so gorgeous. Our kids are so so cute.

Waaaahhh Waahhhhh. Waaaaaaaaah. Waaaaaahhhhh. It's 1 am. The screaming and face of anger on my 1 year old is suddenly not cute. Not cute at all. A monster has woken me.

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