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Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

legoanger

Part of a Lego exhibition we saw on the weekend and in no way a freakishly accurate representation of our bedroom when it’s my morning to get up at dawn with Garnet.

The last few weeks have involved a lot of of autopilot mornings. The kind where everyone has played musical beds all night, and when you realise there is finally a crack of dawn in the sky and there is no point hoping for sleep any longer, you get up. In this house, H and I alternately get up with the earliest riser in the morning. This civilised turn taking is like a gently teetering see-saw upon which our happy marriages rests. Recently those mornings have begun around 4.55 am, a time known to normal people as ‘still night’.

That is too early to think, so the only way to manage when things get like this is to have a system. Order and repetition are your friends. Here follows my system, which is pretty much transferable to any household with children under six, I think. Feel free to borrow it. (more…)

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hotcrosssonI’ve been so tired and befuddled this week that I have just realised that there are only four days left to threaten my kids that the Easter Bunny will take a flying leap past our house if they don’t stop that immediately. I don’t know how I could have been so remiss. And it’s been the perfect week for it because Garnet’s been sick since Friday – first vomiting and then coughing – and he has been about as easy to reason with as a chipmunk with rabies. Rabies and gastro and a cough.

This week he has been brought to howling tears by many and varied injustices. There was the fact that I would not go under the house to drag out the old double stroller to push him the half block to pick up May Blossom from school. Why the double stroller? Because he wanted to ride in it with his friend Charlie. Charlie who lives on the other side of the city? Yes. We never do school pickup with Charlie. Yes, that was understood. This was some sort of protest against never doing school pickups with Charlie. It was the filthy Maclaren stroller version of the empty chair representing the imprisoned writer that PEN International always have at events.

There was misery because he couldn’t find his green watch and H and I disagreed that an appropriate way to deal with a missing green watch is to bite your sister on the bum. (more…)

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IMG_0503

Gusto refusing to participate in a dramatic re-enactment of the sleeping arrangements at our house. Honestly, never work with cats.

It’s been a while since I updated you on the state of sleep in the house of Gusto. I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath.

Here’s the lowdown: May Blossom and Garnet share a room. Ostensibly, H and I also share a room. Every night, we read to the kids in their beds at bedtime. Because I am a very lucky duck indeed, H is almost always home for bedtime, so we take turns each reading to a kid, night about.

Because children are cruel and unthinking creatures, they fight over having me read their books, which makes H feel pretty bad. There is no reason whatsoever for this preference for me reading. May Blossom has recently realised it makes H feel bad when she crows about how it’s Mummy’s turn to read her books, so she has turned it around and now brags when it’s H’s turn. ‘Oh yay! It’s Daddy’s turn to read my books, Garnet. Lucky me!’ That mollifies H somewhat, although I fear she is just trying reverse psychology on Garnet so he will request H reads to him, and thus she will get me. It’s complicated. (more…)

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Helpfully, May Blossom and Pipsqueak look like twins born four years apart, so I can illustrate this post with a picture of my own child to protect the identity of my niece.

Helpfully, May Blossom and Pipsqueak look like twins born four years apart, so I can illustrate this post with a picture of my own child to protect the identity of my niece. And yes, her hair was real.

Two months ago my brother, Superchief, and sister-in-law, Doctor V, had their first baby. Pipsqueak, as she will be known on this blog, is, like both of her cousins before her, a beautiful, sparkly, dark-haired bundle of Refusal To Sleep. She is one of those babies who catch your eye and won’t break your gaze. It’s like she was born in a staring competition. I fear she is extremely clever, and I wish her parents well with that.

Although they live very nearby, since Pipsqueak was born my children have almost constantly had some noxious virus or other that you wouldn’t want to expose a newborn to, which upsets them very much because they adore Sweet Baby Cousin Pipsqueak, as Garnet has dubbed her. He was actually quite cross about her to begin with, and claimed he was the only baby in town and would I please open up my tummy so he could get back in. When I refused, because I am mean like that, he settled for shoving himself up the front of my top, where he spent a good part of Pipsqueak’s first few weeks of life. He hadn’t even met her at that stage, because of the snot, but he was distinctly unimpressed with losing his position as Baby of the Family. Of course when he eventually did meet her he was just as smitten as everyone else and has been nothing but lovely about and to her ever since. (more…)

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hugsHappy New Year from the House of Gusto, where we specialise in creating problems for ourselves, and then complaining about them! This year has kicked off in fine style, with a wonderful country holiday featuring daily trips to swim in the sea, huge and delicious meals with friends and restful afternoons on the verandah.  A perfect life, you might say, if not for the issues of Sleep and Cats.

Why the italics, you might ask. What has Gusto done to merit that? Nothing. Gusto is being an exemplary feline. It is the jellicle cats that are the problem around here. The cats created by T. S. Eliot in his 1939 book of poems Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and made more annoying to the power of infinity by Andrew Lloyd-Webber in 1981. You see, about three months ago May Blossom, Garnet and I tagged along with Other Jess to a Year 6 Production of Cats at the school where she works. It was pretty amazing. And just like that it became, like Singin’ in the Rain and before that the song ‘1234’ by Feist, a complete obsession for May Blossom. (more…)

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doorHello out there. Since last I posted, there has been pestilence aplenty in the House of Gusto, some tremendous backsliding on the baby sleep front, and a change of Crazy Pills for me, which has lightened my outlook sufficiently for me to look at everything around me and deem it Not That Bad and Not Worth Blogging About. Good for me, bad for those of you who like to read my Doom and Gloom posts. So here are a few things that have been going on around here, in no particular order (except the last item, which is the best).

Thing 1: Since one or other or another of his or my recent colds or ear infections or other random maladies that have blurred into one long misery I like to call Winter, baby Garnet stopped sleeping in his cot at all. He now sleeps in our bed at night, or in the car, stroller or carrier during the day. This is good because he sleeps much more soundly at night when he is with us, neither H nor I have to drag ourselves out of bed to resettle him, and he is a delicious bundle of sweetness and cuddles during the night. This is bad because during his naps I often have to hang out with him, reading on my phone while his sister gorges herself on ABC kids programs on the iPad. This means I don’t get much else done. Luckily he doesn’t nap a huge amount. It is also a bit bad because he likes to go to bed a lot earlier than I do. But the upshot of it all is that I am getting heaps more sleep, and am thus much more mentally balanced. May Blossom gets more TV, which she adores. Garnet gets rest. Win. (Yes, I know. Unsustainable sleeping plan. Rod for own back. We’ll fix it when we fix it. Right now it’s working for us.)

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May Blossom at work in her office.

A month or so ago we let May Blossom watch Singin’ In the Rain. We were on the hunt for a movie that wouldn’t frighten her, and that seemed to fit the bill. What I didn’t know at the time was that I would then spend hours every day afterwards explaining the finer plot points to her: why Kathy hits Lena in the face with a cream pie. Why Don Lockwood is trying to escape from his marauding fans. What fans are. Why it’s funny that Lena has an ugly speaking voice. Why the policeman makes Don stop singing in the rain and go home. Why Kathy’s job is to jump out of a cake and dance. It’s endless. She particularly likes the big song and dance numbers, though she is pretty disapproving of much of what goes on in the tribute to slapstick, ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’. ‘That’s not very safe’, she says every time Cosmo dances on top of a piano or runs up a wall. That makes me laugh more than the slapstick itself, which is good because not much has been making me laugh lately. (more…)

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