Best selling book The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep promises to get children to sleep in MINUTES... After reading it to my children I was inspired to write my own bed time story for the little ones who do NOT want to fall asleep...
ONCE upon a time there was a baby girl who did not want to fall asleep.
She would much rather stay up all night having fun, playing and laughing than to ...fall asleep (shush now darling, let mummy read the nice story).
Her tired parents would embark on the same routine at the same time every single night in order to get her to fall asleep (stop hitting me in the face).
They were consistently consistent from the moment the baby girl arrived but still she would not fall asleep (stay on mummy's knee please).
They read her books about sleepy rabbits, tired bears and exhausted princesses. They sang her lullabies that instructed her to 'sleep, baby sleep' or to 'hush little baby' - yet still she remained wide-awake. (Not sleepy yet? Maybe I am reading it too quickly.)
As tiiiiime paaaaassed, the baaaaabeeee girl would still nooooot fall asleeeeeep (Shush, it is not a silly voice it is a sleepy fairytale voice. Sh, sh, now it is sleepytime).
The Mother became increasingly worried. The baby girl would not fall asleep so she could not sleep. She wondered how she could continue to look after a baby on no sleep.
Eventually, The Mother decided she would go and see Yawn-A-Lot the Magician who lived down the hill and across the meadow to see if he could help (OW! STOP pulling my hair).
He was sure to have a magical spell that would help her baby to fall asleep. She walked down the hill to the magician's house. She walked down, down and down the hill...(STOP shouting, it is quiet time).
She continued to walk down the hill. Down and down she went until they met (EWAN THE FRIENDLY SHEEP! YES mummy IS shouting so you hear the story over YOUR shouting!)
"Do you know how to get babies to fall asleep?' Asked The Mother. (Stop poking me. How are you not tired?)
'Oh yes,' said the sheep. 'Have you tried getting in the cot with her and mimicking the sounds of a female human's internal organs? Or, shining a bright pink light at her while making hoovering noises? That should make her sleepy enough to fall into a deep, deep sleep...'
The Mother thanked Ewan the Sheep and then carried on her way.
Her walking became slower and slower and slower as her tired body began to ache (you have JUST had a drink?).
After a while, The Mother met a Powerful Queen.
'Hello Powerful Queen, ' said The Mother. 'Do you know how to get babies to fall asleep?' (No it is not Queen Elsa)
The Powerful Queen spoke of structure, routine, and timetables and The Mother's eyelids started to grow heavier...(No, she hasn't got a name).
... and heavier and heavier... (I don't know why she hasn't got a name).
And as the Queen continued to talk about schedules and sleep cycles The Mother felt her eyes begin to slowly (No you can't have another drink) close.
The Queen instructed The Mother to take charge of the baby. She told her she must NOT rock, shush or cuddle her to sleep. Even to make eye contact with the baby could result in serious consequences, she said (NO, she is not asleep yet! If she was bloody asleep I would not still be up here! Close the door!)
'Oh no. Will she turn me to stone?' The Mother enquired (DADDY, DADDY!).
(Shhhh! ) 'No. BUT she may smile and try to engage with you. You don't want that,' explained the Queen.
The Mother said goodbye to the Powerful Queen and hurried off towards the magician's house.
Across the meadow she walked and walked until she felt really sleepy. Her limbs felt heavy and her eyes were red and sore.
Just then she saw Jane the Jolly Lovely Smiley Elf (NO she does not need Calpol! Close the door.)
'Hello, Jane. Do you know how to get babies to fall asleep?' The Mother asked (GIVE me back the book please. The BOOK NOW! Thank you).
'Oh your baby won't sleep? You must be doing it all wrong. My children slept through the night from six weeks old. (I'M NOT TIRED MUMMY ! NOT TIRED!) They were good babies. Get her into a routine. Have you tried a sleeping bag, a dummy, more naps, sleep training, less naps, controlled crying, Sears, Ford, putting her down drowsy but awake....' (SIT still and let me finish the stupid STORY......Please....Darling).
The Mother hurried away and continued on her journey to the Magician's house (don't eat that please).
...the Magician's house and knocked (YOU have ripped it now) on the door.
'Please can you help me get my baby to fall asleep?' said The Mother to Yawn-A-lot.
The magician looked at the mother and then he yawned.
Then he yawned and he yawned...
...and he yawned some more (do NOT lick that).
The magician reached into his long black cloak and pulled out a small glass jar filled with a mysterious brown powder. He handed it to The Mother (what's that smell? Do you need a poo? GREAT).
(Right. Where was I? Shush..) 'Mix this in a cup with milk (NO you cannot have some milk) and hot water and then YOU must drink it. Repeat three times a day,' explained Magician Yawn-A-Lot. 'It is a very powerful potion especially for parents of babies who do not want to fall asleep.'
The Mother thanked the magician for the magic potion and made her way back slowly, slowly across the meadow feeling RELAXED AND SLEEPY (settle down so you can HEAR the end of the story and fall asleep like you are supposed to).
As soon as she got home she took out the jar, made up the potion, fed the baby girl, reheated the potion, changed the baby girl, reheated the potion, gave the baby girl a biscuit and finally drank the potion.
Then something quite remarkable happened.
The Mother looked at the baby girl NOT sleeping and suddenly felt she had the power to cope with the baby girl not sleeping. The problem had been The Mother's all along. There was nothing wrong with her baby - she was just sleeping - or not sleeping - like a baby.
From that day onwards, whenever her baby girl would not fall sleep The Mother didn't worry or seek the advice of powerful queens and magicians.
She simply got up, got dressed and got on with it...with the help of her magical potion...
(Are you asleep yet?)
- (Stupid story).