5.00 Squeak begins to stir, kicking me in the side. I refuse to believe he’s waking up so I try to bear hug him back to sleep. I drift in and out of consciousness.
6.00 Squeak is squealing with delight. He has thoroughly enjoyed the last hour of wrestling. This has made him thirsty and he grapples with my pyjama top. I fob him off with a beaker of water.
6.05 Brushing teeth time. Squeak sucks the toothbrush for fifteen minutes then insists on carrying it around for the rest of the morning, declaring “nooo nooo noo!” with a little scrunched up face if I try to take it away.
6.30 Squeak is reluctantly in his playpen listening to classical music. He demonstrates his distaste by throwing every single toy I’ve lovingly selected at the cat. I’m hiding in the kitchen drinking coffee and looking at Instagram.
7.00 Squeak eats his breakfast in mostly silence, emitting the odd snort. He’s been trying to tell me he wants to watch Peppa Pig since he woke up and the hope is slowly draining away.
7.30 It’s mother son bonding time and I achieve this by pretending to be a lion, followed by a frog, followed by Gary Barlow singing ‘Back For Good’ on the ukelele. Did I mention I used to be a musician?
8.00 Happy hour has arrived in Squeak headquarters. He is in his cage again, whoops, sorry, playpen, and Peppa Season 2 has begun. He stares transfixed by the beauty of the pink creatures flitting about the screen in a manner I will never understand but am truly grateful for. I give myself 50 minutes to complete as many jobs around the house as I can then check Instagram before I suddenly feel guilty and have a five minute shower.
9.00 Squeak doesn’t understand why I’ve turned Peppa off for snack time. “This is our time to talk” I tell his confused eyes.
9.30 I have successfully wrestled Squeak into his pushchair which is no mean feat considering he weighs more than the average three year old and is as strong as something stronger than me. I ply him with carrots until I’ve run through everything we need and after at least two false starts we’re ready to face the day.
10.00 Ahh toddler group. I talk to grown ups, with one terrified eye on a little boy who keeps threatening to eat stones / go down the steps backwards / plot his escape.
11.30 Squeak sits down in the middle of the playground, vacant stare, bags under his eyes, he staggers towards me “more more more!”. Yes. It’s booby time.
12.00 My break has arrived. Squeak is snoring loudly like a middle aged drunk man in the pushchair, where he’ll remain for the next couple of hours. I downed a sandwich ten minutes before so I can truly enjoy this time instead of doing something pointless like eating. I wander round the shops. I check my Instagram. I take pictures of Squeak. I look at pictures of Squeak. I write blogs about Squeak.
2.00 We’re in the park and the pushchair is stretching and making happy gurgling noises. Oh that’s my son! I remember and lift up his snooze shade. He eats his lunch then feeds the ducks. He finds one favourite hill then runs up and down it for 30 whole minutes. Sometimes he falls over and I get to practice my confident voice, defying the screeching anxiety inside.
3.00 Time to head to our favourite cafe! It’s run by a wonderful woman with wonderful staff who have filled the lounge with toys and comfortable sofas and no one notices if you whip your boobs out to feed an oversized toddler. This is where Squeak practices most of his social skills, wrestling other toddlers for his favourite digger, and I get to check Instagram. Mama gets her cake, and eats it too. Squeak gets boiled new potatoes which he oddly finds delicious.
5.00 Dinner time has arrived and I rub my hands in glee. It’s cheese on toast again! Sometimes I’m feeling quite the culinary wizard and include a side portion of baked beans. Only two hours left. Squeak is exhausted and quiet.
6.00 A dangerous battle has commenced as Squeak fights me every step of the way to the bathroom. He knows this is when the Serious Teethbrushing takes place. He knows he will be lulled into a false sense of security by the bubbubs (bubbles) and we’ll be having a great time before the instrument of torture is whipped out and he has nowhere to go. He somberly accepts his fate.
7.00 Squeak’s final hurrah is in full flow. He plays with all his cars, reads all his books and flips around on the bed before fixing his stare at my chest and launching himself at me. He’s inserted into his sleeping bag before he knows it and happily announces “nah nah” to his dad, before pushing his bedroom door closed. “Pah!” he exlcaims at the newly dark and cooler bedroom, wide eyed in surprise. This weather business is very exciting this year.
7.30 I’m on Instagram, simultaneously editing my latest blog. I can hear Squeak clattering around in his cot as he rolls into the sides. The Toddler Bed is calling and I’m terrified. Not for another couple of months, I tell myself, thinking of the times I find him playing on the floor in the dark when we’re in the spare room.
9.00 – 5.00 Wow. I can’t believe we’ve arrived at 18 months and I have no tips on how to get a baby to sleep through the night. Sorry guys. Squeak wakes frequently through the night for feeds and comfort (and restraint) but bed sharing means by 5 the next morning we are rested, happy and ready to start the day, which is an amazing feeling. I’m not sure I ever really felt like this even before I had a baby.
If you’re struggling with regular night wakings, you may find this post helpful 🙂