Monday, 21 January 2013

Two Snowmen

I think I was more excited than the students when the call came on Friday morning that school would finish at first break.  Given our rural location, large catchment area and insufficient gritting on the roads, the Head decided it was in the interests of the safety of the students to close the school...hooray! Yes, there was an element of justification in the previous sentence.

So we picked the kids up from school and nursery early and Gilby 'made' a new friend.

Though he then took great pleasure in destroying him.  More, perhaps than in building 'Frosty' in the first place, as the wild Lord of the Flies cheering whilst he was being stamped into oblivion would seem to signify.

It was also great fun to pummel 'snow-castles' into the frozen paddling pool (no, we hadn't put it away after the summer...)

Clearly, a few centimetres of snow brings out the destructive qualities in my family.  Even Daddy was cheering a direct snowball hit on his five-year-old daughter.

A smashing time was had by all...

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Bedtime Blues

I remember those halcyon days (sigh) back when bedtimes were easy.  Oh, I used to nod with sympathy and understanding as other parents described their debilitating night-time woes, but all the time I was smiling smugly on the inside.

Well.  It is payback time now.

Gilby's nightly tantrums have, if anthing, increased in duration and intensity over the last five days.  I made the school girl error of googling the problem.  Inevitably I stumbled blindly into a multitude of frenzied forums where the sleep-deprived contributors seemed ready to commit infanticide.

Suggestions ranged from cuddling your troubled toddler all night long, to locking him alone in the pitch black and ignoring the screams.  Well, that's cleared that one up, then.

It did seem to me to neatly summarise the two extremes of approach to parenting, if nothing else.

We have gone for what I hope is a middle ground of calm whispering (it works, which losing my temper completely on Saturday night blatantly did not), moving bedtime forward by half an hour, a CBeebies podcast to listen to...and a stairgate beyond his door.  Yes, I know, that's the controversial bit.

Last night it only took two hours for him to go down.  A significant improvement on Saturday's six hour marathon which left us both physically and emotionally drained.  And tonight...well, it's early yet, screams!

I am not smiling smugly, inwardly or outwardly.  Yet.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Feel the Fear...

Gilby has become very, very jumpy.  The terrible twos have become the terrified threes.  He is afraid of...well, everything, really. If we are at home he must be in the same room as me, and he must close the door behind us, after taking a fearful look beyond to make sure that nothing is following us in.  Windows are a cause for concern; they must be carefully scanned for any lurking monsters.  Any unexpected noise makes him very, very tense. Tears are never very far away.  This has been a sudden and rapid decline over the last six weeks or so. 

He won't admit to his fears though.  Doors must be closed because he is 'cold'.  He doesn't want to be alone because he is 'a little bit tired'.  Going to bed is a prolonged process of coaxing, but it is not because he is scared, but usually because he has a 'tummy ache'.  But he did whisper in my ear that sometimes he sees and hears things.  Like most three year old's he has a vivid imagination and is able to conjure monsters from most harmless shapes and objects. 

He helped me dismantle the tree (lights packed away in a carefully marked box, incidentally), but seemed unduly concerned about when we were getting a new one.  I thought he was sad that it was going to be a whole year to wait until all the excitement began again.

But, last night, I finally got close to the truth.  He thinks he can hear Santa's footsteps...

That bloke's got a lot to answer for! In the interests of creating magic around Christmas I have inadvertently given my son some kind of complex...