At nearly three it’s the first year that Tilly has been reasonably aware of Christmas, yet it’s by no means been certain that our bright and rational little girl would accept the magical idea that is Father Christmas.
Our nearly three-year-old Tilly has become unusually clingy at bedtime, refusing to go off to sleep without me staying in her room. At the same time her night-time sleeping started going downhill too with night waking becoming all too regular. As the sleep problems grew, I decided to it was time to try the gradual retreat technique.
We had the grandparents down over half term, which was a great opportunity for them to spend some quality time with Tilly while mummy and daddy tried to get on with some long neglected jobs.
It’s the time of year parents of early-waking children dread. The clocks go back, turning already eye-wateringly early starts into brain dead middle of the night waking. I am once again in fear for my sanity. Past posts on this blog attest to our various efforts to permanently move Tilly’s wake up time later. We’ve used and continue to use the Gro Clock and have added treats if she waits for the sun but all have been in vain. When Tilly wakes after 5am she wants to be up. Encouraging her to stay in bed leads to screaming, waking my wife too, so it’s best to bite the bullet and simply get up. I’ve found I’ve adapted to waking at around 5:30 every morning. Well I say adapted, in reality my body fights doing anything at that hour but I make my best zombie parenting efforts until caffeine and food eventually kick in. The impending winter clock change with its ruthless plan to transform Tilly’s waking from 5:30 to 4:30 fills my heart with doom. Once again it’s time to gradually move Tilly’s bedtime later in an attempt to compensate for this seasonal quirk. It’s not a straightforward deal, though, as a later bedtime doesn’t immediately reap results in the morning. Instead you find your precious evening time curtailed while still dealing with waking early. Great. The hope is that at 15 mins each night it will eventually give the morning wake up a bump later. Come the clock change it should, toddler willing, be nearer to what it is now, once those pesky clocks have fallen back. It is nevertheless a fairly miserable time with little sleep, no time to ourselves and a potentially tired child to boot. So should you see me, or parents like me in
We’ve been immersed in the playgroup circuit for a year now. If you’re unfamiliar with the format, picture rooms full of activities and toys and loads of toddlers going around doing their own thing. That’s the thing: despite their numbers, all of the play is very much done individually as interacting with others doesn’t really kick in until around three years of age.
This morning saw a dawning realisation that Tilly and I are nearing the end of an era. The days of playgroups are waning with pre-school looming large. Where did the time go?
We’re two weeks into the potty training process and it’s fair to say that progress hasn’t been as rapid as we might have hoped for. There have been some good achievements but we’re still some way off our goal of being reliably toilet trained and staying dry. We might be on the cusp of breakthrough although if she’d sleep in until the sun came up it would certainly help.
Tilly has been making some great strides during the holidays towards the goal of becoming a ‘big girl’. Having successfully made the move to a proper bed the only major milestone remaining is the infamous task of toilet training. We’ve just reached the end of day one of using the potty and we’ve survived – just.
Toddler-wrangling guides abound with talk of the terrible twos only to be followed by the inevitable reign of the threenager. Yet what if these merged in a perfect storm to become the twonager? Moody, unreasonable and ready to fly off the handle at the most minute action. At just two and a half, Tilly is demonstrating all the symptoms of being a threenager.
The school summer holidays are here, which means that I’ve officially survived a whole year of being a stay-at-home dad. An awful lot has changed since last summer when I hung up my office shirts for the last time. There have been high points but there have been struggles too. Time, then, to spend a moment looking back on the past twelve months.