Clatter! Roll...The unmistakable sound of a dummy hitting a wooden floor. He's done it again! Of course he has – throwing his dummy out of his cot has become some sort of ritual game for Oscar lately.
And why not? This mere action brings Mummy into the bedroom. She even gets down on her hands and knees to search for it, which is very funny.
10am naptime has become a battleground for Oscar and me – despite being up for several hours and becoming grizzly with exhaustion, his eyes becoming bloodshot with tiredness, when it comes to going down for his nap, my darling child simply cannot resist a game of dummy flinging.
It can sometimes go on for an hour, leaving me frazzled and him miserable by the end of it, before he finally succumbs and passes out.
I've tried everything – from littering his cot with five or six dummies (a very short-lived solution, providing an extended remix of the same game, but with more artillery at his disposal), ignoring it and letting him cry (also unsuccessful, and heartbreaking at the same time), to even attaching a dummy keeper ribbon to his sleeping bag – he ripped it off in 10 seconds flat, then hurled the entire apparatus at the bedroom door, which made a very satisfying clunk.
So, I've resorted to simply going in a few minutes after I hear the clatter, calming placing the dummy back into his mouth, putting him back down on his back (he's usually standing up, clinging to the cot railing) and saying, "Shhh. Mummy wants you to go to sleep now. Nigh-nighs!" and then hightailing it out of the room.
Sometimes he gets bored of the game after one or two visits, sometimes 10. But I figure if I relent and get him up again, then he will then start to think that his tactic works, and persevere even longer.
I really treasure the sudden quiet and stillness of the next hour as I either waste it all entirely by looking at Facebook and surfing the interwebs, or, more virtuously and rarely, catching up on housework and batch cooking.
Too soon, it is all over, Oscar's arousal from slumber marked by the trademark clatter. If it's only been 45 minutes or less, I doggedly try and resettle him, and the dummy throwing game recommences, all over again.
Post lunch naps are also the same, and there have been times when I have regretted our decision, all those months ago, to introduce the dummy to our very "sucky" newborn baby.
But I guess I just need to look at it from his point of view. I'm sure it IS hilarious to see my exasperated scrabbling around under his cot, and why wouldn't he want to have a little fun game with his mummy, prior to going to sleep?
My returning to his room, over and over again, must cement in his soon-to-be toddler brain that I am there, always, and throwing the dummy and calling out excitedly are his way of perhaps mitigating his newfound bouts of separation anxiety.
After all, by the time night time Beddy-Byes roll around, he doesn't ever feel the need to play the dummy flinging game. He's so tired that he will happily roll over onto his front when I put him down, sigh contentedly and skip off to the land of nod within seconds. Now THAT I should be thankful for!
Does your child ever throw his dummy out of the cot?
What did you do to prevent it happening?
More on Parentdish: