The clocks go back tonight, meaning that technically we should all get an extra hour in bed. Not so if you have small people. It's basic mathematics: If your small person usually wakes up at 6.30am, when the clocks go back they will wake up at 5.30am meaning that you actually LOSE AN HOUR'S SLEEP!!!!
I would like to implore the government to please stop messing around with time. Stuff the farmers- I need my beauty sleep!!! And believe me, as I'm getting older I need a lot more beauty sleep than I used to. These days it takes a good 10 hours to get me from 'Hallowe'en nightmare' to 'extra in a slightly scary black and white movie.' All the hypo-glycaemic-regenerous-wrinklefirmer-aloevera cream in the world will not be enough to persuade the Sag Fairy to put away her wand and allow me to be pert once more.
Anyone who uses the phrase 'sleeps like a baby' obviously doesn't have one. After about a month, a baby will make you look as if you are a member of an aging rock band, only without the money and the rock 'n' roll memories. To anyone who looks at a baby and thinks, "Ahh.I would love one of those," I would say stop looking at the baby and look at the mum. You'll soon change your mind.
Out of my 3, Bobby was definitely the worst sleeper. She would wake every couple of hours. By the time she was about 4 she would sleep for around 5 hours a night in total. I was torn between crying, and thinking, "Hmm she might be Prime Minister one day. I could use this to my advantage mwah ha ha!"
She would wake me up regularly throughout the night, mainly with, "Mummy I'm scared. Mummy there's a monster under my bed. Mummy there's a ghost knocking on my window." I tried all the gentle, patient parenting techniques- nightlights, fairydust, plastic swords under her pillow- but nothing would keep my child in her bed. (If you are in this position, Velcro pyjamas work, although they are frowned upon in most cultures. Simply dress your child in the pyjamas and slam-dunk them into bed, where they will stay stuck 'til morning.)
After several months of no sleep, I was propping my eyelids open with metaphorical matchsticks and sobbing, "Lack of sleep is used in wars as a form of torture wa-ah wa-ah!" That night Bobby came into my room as usual, "Mummy I'm scared. There's a monster under my bed." My tired self took over and smothered the rational me with a pillow.
"Nothing in your room," I growled, "Will be half as scary as me if you WAKE ME UP AGAIN!!!!!" Problem solved. She risks the monsters...
Today: Feeling hard done by?
If you feel it's not fair that we lose an hour's sleep, take heart. In 6 months the clocks go forward and you can relish the fact that your small one will stay asleep until 7.30am. Unless they invariably choose that day to come down with chicken pox.