Lately, I don’t know what it is, but Reuben has really been struggling to get to sleep.
It’s gone 9pm most nights (latest refusal so far has been 11.40pm!) when he finally drops off, despite our rather strict 7pm on-a-school-night routine. He just keeps getting out of bed, playing with his toys or going to the toilet. More recently (and harder to crack) is the insistence that there are monsters or ghosts in his room and that he is afraid of the dark, something we’ve thus far managed to avoid apart from the very odd whine and whinge to avoid sleep.
It reached breaking point earlier this week when he was being particularly awkward after I’d had a trying day with Edith (you may have seen the baking episodes on my Instagram story? Utterly crazy child.) I’d just managed to get her to sleep, came downstairs to pour myself a today-has-been-exhausting glass of whatever the hell I could get my mitts on when I heard the stairs creak. Obviously at this point I was pretty shattered and ready to launch into arse kicking mode with Mortal Kombat vibes on the go, but his little tear stained face stopped me as he pushed the door open. Daddy was out at football, my mum (who lives with us, which you can read about in this post) wasn’t home and it was just me and him. After a little chat we ascertained that he felt there was something in his room, so up the wooden hill we went to investigate – of course I reassured him there was nothing but he still wasn’t having any of it! We had a little chat, went through the creaking of the radiator, the noise from the wind, the way that the pipes can make clanging noises etc and I tucked him back into bed… only to make it downstairs and hear the familiar creak of the stairs. As is quite frequently the case, he knew better than to come downstairs again when he’d already been told to go back to bed and he was tired so he sat his bum down on the top step in a little act of defiance! Next thing I know, he’s howling at the top of his lungs and bolting down the stairs like there is a rocket firmly lodged up his tush – he was genuinely frightened. He reasoning? A creak on the stairs sounded like someone was coming towards him.
As silly as it sounds, I couldn’t help but feel for him. It is imbued in us to be afraid of the dark – we’re taught that bad things lurk in the dark, it isn’t the mouse took a stroll in the deep, lightly lit woods is it? Nope, it’s the deep dark woods. (If you didn’t get that reference – get out.) Anyhoo, I felt for him, I let him come downstairs and we had a chat – he wanted a nightlight.
After a little bit of looking, I was sent a Brother Maxx bear hanging light. I rather love it – and so does he as he can carry it around with him if he wants to, I can hang it on his door or he can take it into his bed to “ward off the monsters”. It changes colour too so has a really lovely soothing effect – not to mention that it looks so stylish in his room and isn’t at all like the hideous torch style one that Toby wanted last year to “play with” – no buster, not a chance.
I guess only time will tell but at the moment we have been using a mixture of homemade monster spray, the night light and lots of reminders that we are only downstairs. Do you remember this irrational fear of the dark and monsters/ghosts? How about your kids?