Food, handbags and money; wonderful things which were once a huge part of my life mean nothing to me now. I dine on toast cut in to quarters and eat petit filous with a plastic spoon. I carry my possessions around in a bulky (but highly practical) rucksack, and - for the past year and a half - the only currency up for negotiation in our home, the only thing likely to evoke any kind of response from me is hours between the sheets, and not it the way you might think. Sleep, that magical evening ritual that makes me feel fantastic and look like Beyoncé (just kidding) is the one thing, no matter how hard I try, that I can never get enough of.
It's all because of the minuscule, curly haired insomniac that calls himself my toddler. My littlest love, while undeniably bloody adorable, is the worst sleeper. Ever! He goes down well enough with a story before his bath, some milk (from the cow that is me) and then bed. But around midnight, gremlin like, he changes. Past the strike of 12 my little guy reverts back to his newborn self, deciding he needs comfort every few hours until the crack of dawn when I give up and bring him into our bed. He remains there with a chubby little foot rammed in my face for the rest of the 'night' while I try to salvage what's left of my sleep.
I've tried everything from gentle sleep training to full on controlled crying - resulting in both of us being inconsolable hours later and mummy vowing never to try such a ridiculous technique again - but nothing seems to change.
My husband and I are living a life of borrowed time (literally) grabbing a few hours where we can and relying on caffeine and sugary awfulness to see us to the end of each day. We've found ourselves squabbling over who's had more sleep and completely losing the plot if one of us dares to yawn on shift, you think I'm not tired too darling!
When we're not arguing - or keeping furious lieu sleep notes to bring up at a future row- we're bargaining for an extra couple of hours in bed. A lie in can be exchanged for a full English breakfast, church duties, as well as some unmentionables in the bedroom.
There's a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture and the reality for us is that lack of sleep has a knock on effect. Our harmonious home becomes the wicked witch's cavern if mummy is up with the lark and grizzly bear daddy doesn't fare much better without his shut eye either.
So plod along we do, napping where we can and roaring when we can't. I'm sure one day when he's grown up, I'll miss the midnight wake up calls and family bed that is our current existence. I can dream about it when I'm and old lady - sobs hysterically.
My previous attempt at sleep training:
Some useful sleep training links for those braver than me: