We're back now from a week in Pembrokeshire (staying at the fantastic Bluestone) and just beginning to warm up. The scenery was beautiful, the company - a week of uninterrupted time with my boys - wonderful, but damn it was cold! T adored it of course, swimming every day (note to self, must buy wetsuit, his enthusiasm couldn't hide the fact he went an interesting shade of blue on a couple of occasions) lots of fresh air and even a couple of beaches to himself. We found a hidden gem deli, looked at lots of old stones and watched T experience his first fireworks.
Of course a whole different country and a different language (chwsg means sleep apparently, according to a random internet translation website) didn't make any difference to the night-time behaviour of the wakeful one. We're still co-sleeping and still on at least two wakings per night, more often three. I'd be lying if I said I didn't go to bed every night, sneaking in as quiet as a mouse (let's not even think what this is doing to our sex life) and praying that night 407, 408 or 409 (still counting) might just be the one he sleeps through, and that we'll all wake up to light outside having dozed the whole night away.
It never is of course. What have I done wrong? I hate the fact that I'm getting angry about it now, that sometimes, just sometimes in the night I want to pick T up and shake him and yell at him to GO BACK TO BLOODY SLEEP! Of course I don't. Of course I take a breath and, more often than not, sneak off to the loo for a minute of peace, leaving Daddy to deal with T, but I resent the fact it's got to this. I don't want to feel like this.
We bought a book. The NCT guide to helping your baby sleep. It is very nicey nicey, all kissing games and sticker charts, but also doesn't mince words. If you want results you need to do this the hard way, and the older your baby the harder it will be.
Great, something else I've done wrong. If I'd gone for the controlled crying approach six months ago it might have saved us all a lot of heartache. Now I'm faced with an eternity (or so it feels) of sleepless nights, or subjecting my son to hours of crying because I wasn't man enough to teach him to go to sleep by himself before now. Hideous.
Of course we're doing what any sensible adult would do in the circumstances, and taking the middle road. We're off to Center Parcs in 10 days for my FILs 60th birthday celebrations. Any new routine would of course be disrupted, so let's not start now, eh? Instead we're night weaning T, not offering him a breastfeed when he wakes. In fact not offering him anything except a warm embrace from his loving parents, in the hope it might discourage him from waking at all. So far the results have also been very middle of the road. T has still woken, but he has settled (and without too too much fuss) without milk. This is only night three though, and the big boy has gone out drinking tonight and so will be in the spare room when he returns (co-sleeping and alcohol do not mix) and unable to help with the settling. Whether the small boy will be quite as amenable at returning to sleep when my boobs are only a pyjama's breadth away remains to be seen. Perhaps I need to sleep in a turtleneck?