Friday, 26 August 2011

My half-assed attempt at parenting.

My beautiful boy Max got a note home from school. "Please have your child dress up as something from his cultural heritage for bookweek on Friday."

I know - an empty bottle of vodka to symbolise his Scottish roots! No, no glass allowed. What about carrying a bag of potatoes, to acknowledge his Irish heritage on Dave's side of the family? No - too heavy.

I have been rushed, stressed, and tired for ooooh - three years now. I told Max I know .. in honour of MY own family tree of exceptional forefathers who date back to the colony-makers of Australia, why doesn't he go as a convict?

GENIUS! Except, at 9pm last night we had to improvise because it was due the next day. I found a stripey shirt to wear, and cut some scraggly pants up for him.

              I wonder how many times he has been asked what he is.

We all piled in the car and as we drove nearer to the school I started to see it ... brightly coloured costumes, perfectly coiffed hair and easily identifiable national dress. Max was screwed. Prickly shame crept up from my neck to my face. My bedraggled convict got out of the car. "SEE YA MUM!"

Rocco said "Bye Max" but Max didn't hear so Rocco blew my eardrum out in protest. Not only was my son obliviously walking next to all the amazing costumes, he didn't bat an eye when I trawled next to the curb, wound my window down to say "Max, Rocco said he loves you."

Max ran over, placated his brother, and then ran into school. The bedraggled convict with not even a ball and chain to show for it, because I was so tired.

Why am I tired? This guy:

                                    I am just so refreshed mummy!

Every single night he runs into my bed and kicks me to death and I do not sleep. I put out an APB on my facebook page recently, asking for any tips on how to stop this happening. I have not had a decent night sleep in three years and am getting desperate. The general consensus from commenters is to just ride it out. Nothing can be done - unless I lock him in his room and get some heavy-duty earplugs to drown out the wails. (I almost did that. Almost.)

Every night now, when Rocco comes in and kicks the shit out of me I put a dummy pillow in between us but he kicks it out of the way with an "I NEED YOU MUM!" ... I think of all the other mums and dads out their, battling the same problems at night. It makes me feel less alone.

One day, we will sleep. Probably when we are dead.


During the time it took for me to write this post, Rocco informed me that he "Spilt a bit of wee in the toilet mum." So I went in with a few tissue to mop it up. A few tissues? No.

                         We're gonna need a bigger boat.


  1. Awww look at gorgeous Max!

    I, too, have a 3 yo who climbs into my bed and kicks me all night, every night. Last night the 4yo climbed in too and kicked the other side. Then the bub kicked me from inside. I'm officially screwed.

  2. Well, I think he's definitely the cutest convict that I've ever seen - the stripes say it all really.

  3. Oh the sleep deprived Mother. I hear you.
    Has anyone suggested a mattress for your son to sleep on the floor next to you? My friend did that and her son came in most nights for almost ten years. They all slept and all were happy.
    Or employ a sleep nazi to come to your house and take charge of the nights?

  4. When my son rocks up to school as a pair of chopsticks & a spring roll smelling like fish sauce, he will think your kids have the best mum EVER.

  5. I'm glad our schools always chose a week and did different heritages- giving examples far ahead of time- or just doing "blue day" or "denim day"...much easier.

    Our bathroom floor looked like that (though less extensively spread over time) until my brother moved out. Blech. I'm sorry!! Bodily fluids are not something I can really take...but looking at that picture does remind me of the times I had to yell at my bro ad nauseum to clean the floor even when he full well knew what he was doing...that turd. :P Boys will be boys

  6. I didn't sleep for almost 10 months straight because of my middle child - my intellect has never recovered :-) My kids have book week next week, except now that my baby is also at school I have 3 costumes to come up with…!!!!

  7. One of my kids (I suspect the small one) went to do a wee overnight and basically just stood in the middle of the bathroom, of about 2 metres from the dunny, and pissed like a racehorse. I found it this morning. Great to be me x

  8. My 10 year old son had to dress up this week too, as favorite book character.

    We decided on Max from where the wild things are. On the morning of this day I thought shit, I have not organized anything!..... I got that sick feeling. bad, bad mum! I looked around to find anything that would be remotely linked to this book. In the end he wore a hoody with grey trackies, I found an old santa hat and cut off the white trim, some yellow paper cut into a crown, then stapled them together and jammed it over his hoody and said WOW you look great.

    He had a peek in the mirror and said 'are you sure I look like Max?'

    Absolutely I said!

    He did....well....kinda...did!

    I think your max looked like a very kind convict...and even better he did not seem to care about what the other kids thought!

    I put the pictures in my side bar.

  9. I bet his friends thought he looked cool. I do.

    peepee not so cool though~

    You are a good Mum.

  10. We've got a parenting motto in this house - if they're not worried about something, then we're not allowed to worry about it either. He's a proud convict, he's happy.

    I didn't see your APB. We have one of those most nights at our place (as in, all children need attention at some point in the wee (sorry about that) small hours). I can tell you that my seven year old still comes up every. single. night. BUT about 9 months ago, sick of fighting for space with the overgrown bubba, we set up a permanent mattress in our room. So in the night he just slips in there on the floor right next to his mumma and hopefully (xxx) he doesn't wake anyone up in the process.

    No point fighting it. We did for seven years and it was all for nuthin. Do whatever you need to do to get some sleep. That's our other parenting motto.


  11. As the only vagina surrounded by a sea of penises, i hear you!!

    I have a similar issue with non-sleeping toddlers... here is how i have been dealing with it (and the method SUCKS ARSE cos you still dont sleep, but my theory is EVENTUALLY he will sleep through the night, much sooner then he would of if i didnt try this)...

    As soon as he gets up, meet him in the hall way, or in your bedroom before he gets into your bed (important its BEFORE he gets into your bed, or i just find the tantrums are worse and much easier for me to say 'fuck it, your in here anyways...'), pick him up and carry him into his bed, lie down with him in his bed until he goes to sleep and then get back out and go back to sleep in your bed... eventually they get the point... its taken me 6 months of trying this, but BOTH my toddlers just started sleeping through.. most of the time.

  12. Don't you get Supernanny down there? If you did, you would know that you simply take Rocco back to his bed. The first time you can tell him "It's time to sleep, you sleep in your bed" or some crap like that. The next time, you just lead him back and put him in bed without comment. Then you repeat that step 8 hundred million times until he gets bored with the game and goes to sleep. Meanwhile, you get to be up all night. Theoretically, he should eventually learn that he can't sleep with you.

    But I suspect that your mommy guilt would not let you put him back to bed when he says he needs you. :)

  13. I forgot to say my 3 year old did a wee right on the end of our bed this morning, just after waking up from OUR bed!!

    Its universal I am afraid!

  14. I am not sure what they are, but there are a million reasons why co sleeping is the best thing for your child.

    One book I have devotes a whole chapter to how to get them out of your bed. There is lots of talk about putting a mattress on the floor in the kids room and you sleep there with them in their bed, for a few weeks til the child breaks the routine of waking and going to you.

    We co slept too, but by 2 the youngest never wakes to come in.

    Miss 5 does, but usually not till about 4 or 5 in the morning, for some reason I see this as a good thing...I may have had 6 hours sleep by then, which is magic after none for about 3 years of hell.

  15. Think of some sort of serious reward if he stays in his bed all night. This works sometimes, which is a godsend. The simple things you yearn for after kids, sleep glorious sleep. My two big ones had book week dress ups today - Clarice Bean - looks pretty regular only a little more stripy and Robin Hood not because he likes the book, but because he had the costume. Lazy parenting but they were both happy. Two in my bed last night - had to kick one out so the other would fit.

  16. You poor thing. I am pretty sure that the UN recognises sleep depreviation as a form of torture (well I thought it was when my kids were little).

    We are going to start toilet training in the next few weeks with both of my kids. I think we are going to see a few of these puddles.

  17. I am such a lazy mother that I allowed Joe to go to school with 6 books duct taped around him. He said he was going as "Book Man."


  18. Max's costume meant something to him about his family roots. That is what its about.
    ...and if you want to talk mad parenting skillz ... I'll let you know how I stopped child #2 from sleeping on top of me every night from ages 2-4....
    We bought child #1 a double bed and let child #2 sleep with child #1. Problem solved.
    For now.
    I expect that their psyches will be irreparably damaged from this at some point in the future .. but hey ... I get SLEEP so its all good!

  19. What is sleep? No really, I'm asking. Bleh.

    You need more tissues. And maybe a bucket of water.

  20. You pretty much said what i could not effectively communicate. +1

    My blog:
    regroupement credit consommation

  21. I have his twin at my house.

    Turned 3 this June - only just toilet trained this last month and still does not have full control of his instrument.

    Why oh why don't guys get a manual with that thing!


  22. Well, as a mother of 3 boys...including one overly-energetic-kicking-me-in-the-bed-every-morning-at-the-crack-of-dawn 4yo - I SO get this.

    Although, I'm lucky. They at least leave me alone during the night. It's just those early morning starts!

    I've never enjoyed having kids in the bed with me. I'm pretty much a 'Ok, buddy...back to your bed," kinda gal. The mornings, however, I can't convince them at all to go back to their bed.

    It'll get better. It will. xxx

    PS - My 9yo would have LOVED the convict dress-up outfit. I sent my 7yo to book week dress up day as Ash Ketchum from Pokemon because he could wear normal clothes and a cap with the Pokemon logo sticky taped on to it. Done.

    Less is more, I say. ;)

  23. I fall asleep between 1-2am most mornings. Tricky wakes up and neeeeeeds cuddles at 4am then kicks me til I can't stand it any more at 6:30am when we get up. This is why I am insane.

    There is a reason they use sleep deprivation as a form of torture. Look after yourself x

  24. I sent my nephew to school today with a strainer on his head. He also had a moustache and pigtails (he was Obelix) Hopefully he survived!

  25. Oh so many things I have to look forward to. But Abby is only five months old and already kicks like a horse. And has really sharp nails so when she squeezes me in the middle of the night I wake up almost shrieking. Add to that the snoring of my darling husband, the cat wanting to sleep under my chin and thus on baby's head at 4am, I can't remember what it was like to sleep well and I won't for a really, realllllly long time. We're all crazy together!

  26. Co-sleeping is shitty. I feel you, dude. I feel you.


  27. We have the double bed too and single bunk on top! All 3 in one room. We have a 4 bedroom house and each cud have their own room but this works so who am I to argue? Oh and the dog sleeps in there most nights too but at least they aren't bugging me, so ++++!!!!

  28. I must say I was pretty horrified by how much effort some people at our school went to with book week. My 9 year old asked the day after book week, do we wear our costumes again today? All that effort for one day! I couldn't agree more, if you are going to go to the effort of a costume, they can at least wear it for a term.
    I feel your pain about the sleep, no perfect solution except time, and that doesn't help now when you need it does it? I think the mattress idea is the best option, if you haven't tried it already. We did it when my second was a baby. We actually dismantled our bed, put our mattress on the floor, and then put a single mattress next to it for our toddler to come into if he needed it. Worked really well, and before too long he actually stopped coming in. Might have just been luck though. I wish I could wave my magic wand for you... xx

  29. Riley was coming in every night but I noticed that when I tucked the doona into her mattress it was less likely to come off, less likely for her to get cold and less likely for her to come into our room. But 'I need you mum' sounds suspiciously like it won't be remedied by being warmer.

  30. Bloody poor poor thing. Boys and their thingys...truly are NOT good...are they...aiming is a challenge so, brilliant Grandma got the grandson to 'pee where you are meant to" ...threw a sheet of loo paper in & said, Hit the Target. He did.

    They have primal and animal brains. Boys. Men, maybe

    So, about the sleep thing, no answers but resistance is proving useless..maybe shmaybe...treat him LIKE A BABY...and see how his BOYness takes that.

    Suspect, that his early days are what he wants more of...and that is NO criticism of a MUM doing what she could while the DAD might be dying...

    You need a good bloody rest...can you have one when he goes to daycare?

    Oh and what about "accidentally" you leave him at MiLs

    Just once

    Love ya D XXX

  31. I am continually in awe of how even the grown men can manage to miss the toilet...and then leave it for us to clean up.

  32. I have the same problem with Lufflump. We spent almost $1000 on a funky new bed for him and he's slept in it maybe once a week since we bought it. So annoying. He has a thing for ears especially his feet in my ears, not the best to be woken up to. He needs to be able to roll over and encounter my ear at any time of the night so I have no choice.

    If you find a 'cure' please share.

  33. Your Rocco and my Hank should hang out. Peas in pod. Hank, who is moments older than Rocco, declared he will sleep in his own big boy bed "after my piwate birfday party, when I am 4"
    6 months to go and I know I will miss him in my bed, if the wee shite sticks to his own deal, that is.
    Rocco won't want to kick you in his sleep forever. It's a quandary. One day we may long for this time of constant sleep disruption when there is no reminder in the dark of the night that we are more than just ourselves. peace x
    Simone (

  34. I am sitting here nodding, bleary eyed, after having spent my night last night being kicked repeatedly in the head. And when she's not kicking, she liked to dig her toes into my body...

    I have no answer. Just coffee.

  35. Most nights Mr 4 ends up in my bed, and tells me to move my legs!

    occasionally I have the Mr 13, and Mr 4 and the CAT all my bed... I usually yell out to Ms15 do you want to get in too?!?!!

  36. 1. The convict. Hahaha

    2. Sleep. The only way I can get the kids to not sleep with us, and when they come to our bed they never sleep, is to let they share a room. Maybe see how Max likes Rocco for awhile.

    3. The pee. Hahaha. I also have a boy.

  37. It's like you're talking about my life right now! 3yo son who INSISTS on stealing my side of the bed & ALL the pillows every night. If I move, he moves. If I move him back, he pokes at me until I let him sleep on my head. I give up.

    And the pee on the floor. Why. Whyyyyy.

  38. i think you've all put me off having kids forever. (In fairness I didn't need much of an excuse, but the no-sleep factor is just the icing on the cake)

    I don't know how in the hell you do it.

    Hats off to mothers everywhere! You're all amazing.

  39. I'm a lazy (I like to say it in a nicer way usually but whatever...let's call it like we see it) mom/mum and I don't even have a little one crawling into bed with me...just a snoring husband. :) Although to my defense I was a single working and going to school mom until a few years made me feel even worse when my son was so accepting of my bad half ass costumes and projects.

  40. I love Max for rolling with it all. I don't agree with the extra mattress in your bedroom advice. I am envious that you have a drain in your bathroom floor. You consistently keep it interesting Eden.
    Oh and I agree with Schmutzie--it's a penis thing!

  41. Funny thing. You know when my son stays out of my bed? When I ask him to. I say "Evan. Mommy is very tired and I need to to stay in your bed ALL NIGHT LONG. Can you do that?"

    I'm just sayin' - worth a try.

  42. This is NOT going to make you feel any better but, my son is 5 1/2 and still gets into bed with me and pulls my hair. Yes, my hair. He seems to have a hair fetish. When he's awake, he's pretty gentle with hair, but when he's trying to sleep, he yanks.

    To his credit, he recognizes that he is a bigger boy now and is actually trying to stop playing with hair. He's TRYING.

  43. At least you remembered to make a costume. I recently sent my son to school on international day dressed as a 12 year old in school uniform circa 2011.

    I am mother of the year. Clearly.

  44. Rocco could have at least aimed for the drain! My 4 yr old peed all over the shower curtain. Prolly cuz the toilet was right there. What a tempting choice! Shower curtain or toilet? Shower curtain or toilet?

  45. We're gonna need a bigger boat.

    I fucking love you.

    No advice, I am still living it almost 13 years later.

    Fucking penises. Stupid invention.


  46. We did matress on the floor for boy #1 and it helped. Boy #2 haven't gone there quite yet, trying the sleep with your brother thing.

    The biggest shift with Boy #1 came when I stated the fact that "I am VERY tired and need more room to sleep." Now at 6 yrs old he will come ask "Mommy I can't get back to sleep... come be with me." That I can do especially as it is usually only once month unless something stressful going on but often at 5am.... I need to start on this more seriously with boy #2 who is now 2yrs 8 mos.

  47. Hmmmm may put off toilet training for another month... and the costume, yes not ideal but it's so not a biggie but you know that, and things are never as they seem - speaking from experience another child may have the most beautiful costume but have a mother who is more concerned with what others think than with their own child's thoughts and feelings. I know what I'd rather...
    Nicole x

  48. BTW: we used the crib matress not a new one

  49. Hmmm...If I have Sicilian ancestors, does that means I can dress my kids up look Jersey Shore?

  50. When I was little my mom always told the stories of how awful it was to sleep next to me. How when on vacation and we ever had to share a bed I kicked her all night long. It used to hurt my feelings a lot and I felt terrible to kick her so much.

    When I had Bliss and I knew we would co-sleep this never entered my mind....until it did. Until Bliss was older and began kicking me all night long.

    But this amazing thing happened.

    See I knew my child and I paid attention and I suddenly "got it" I had never been truly kicking my mom all night long. And neither was Bliss. He was trying to be close to me, to "feel me" there next to him. And when I would push my leg or foot up to his leg real firm and tight he would suddenly calm and sleep, barely moving. And when I would wake up later from being kicked it would invariable turn out I had rolled away from him.

    And suddenly I had all this compassion for myself as a child and pity at my mother's inability to understand me. And suddenly I saw the way my child slept in a whole new light. A light that softens me and makes me melt a little each time.

    Bliss still "reaches" for me in his sleep with his feet, and I still reach back and foot snuggle with him. It is second nature now these many years later.

    Just thought a new way of seeing it may make it a tiny bit easier.

    Much love sister friend.

  51. Dude, there is an ~entire~ circle of ~Hell~ dedicated to "mommy homework." Sometimes I think I might already live there and I just don't know it. ~fist bump~


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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