Ahhh work, sweet blissful, unnagging , non feet touching work. Work, we had one week apart –But I had to give part time dad a break from babysitting from the couch this Summer holiday. I regret it – I should never have left you work.
My week off with Summer was meant to be a time for us to bond – to explore new places, lay down memories, stop part time dad from killing her.
In reality it was a week from hell. Summer out of routine -not that we ever really had one- but 8 hrs of school a day goes some way to creating a stable environment for her. No money in the account, no batteries for the Wii , resulted in me zoning out a lot and picturing Summer as some sort of Tom and Jerry character that I could put in a Cannon and shoot across Bromley’s sky line, or hit repeatedly with a hammer until little tweety birds circled around her dazed and confused head. To top it off it rained. Un-stimulated and Hyperactive I watched her climb the walls for 13 hrs a day. I listened to her talk – I timed her once – 3 hrs of non stop chatting to herself, to me , to the dog, the TV.... when she ran out of real words she just simply made them up. Words,words, words, 3 hours non stop.
But the worst came at night time. Part time dad had seemed to convert Summer to the Jamaican time zone that he still lives by after 15 yrs in the UK. Under his watchful eye (insert sarcasm) Summer would rise around 10-11am share a drink of juice with him on the couch – straight from the carton and they would start a Disney channel marathon. Summer, helping part time dad out when ‘Handy Manny’ had a difficult question. Maybe around lunch time PT dad would choose to dress her in her very best velour tracksuit for an outing to the chicken shop or to meet other desperate Jamaican Dads lumbered with kids in the park. After this, maybe a spot of Dancehall music and practice of gang signs. They would then stay up and watch Disney, now on repeat until the early hours of the morning. Both of them giggling at the same Hannah Montanna Joke they had seen that morning.
So when it was my turn to take over care – I was at first happy with the unexpected lie in – a chance to get up early and do some work while the house was quiet. I was not however prepared for bedtime – She simple laughed in the face of 8pm, stuck her fingers up at 9pm, told 10pm to kiss her butt and so it went some nights until 1am!!!!!!!! Hyper unwilling to sleep with plenty of words (mostly Jamaican having spent 4 weeks with her dad) So there I would be for 4hrs a night trying to get this 4ft yardie girl to go the fuck to sleep. I tried songs, books, lights off, lights on, creeping out, yelled back in, shouting, rocking, crying – ‘Go the fuck to sleep’ There were times when I would fall asleep at the side of the bed, waking up to find her downstairs blowing bubbles. Then be subjected to more words. She tried every excuse, I am tired, I am thirsty, I need my teddy from downstairs , I need Beanie Man on the stereo. The best one was when she convinced herself that there was bed bugs ‘’oh mummy there bugging me’’ she said as they scratched ‘’these bugs are buggering me’’ this made me laugh, so she said ‘buggering me’’ on repeat loudly whilst jumping up and down on her bed, I made sure all the windows were shut, should the neighbours decide to call the police again.
We have one more week before school – and its down to part time dad to get her back into her old sleeping pattern – which is only mildly less irritating than the sleepless week I have just had. He has no chance unless he cracks open a ganja bong in her room.
I clearly don’t have the answer when it comes to techniques to putting a little Rasta to bed – but there is a tool I use to stop me from turning those cartoon day dreams to reality – I put the hammer down and reach for a book called ‘Go The Fuck To Sleep’’ by Adam Mansbach . A short book that looks like a kids bed time book with great illustration that is strictly for Adults, it makes me laugh, stops child battery and lets me know that other parents may just hate their kid too – just a little bit – if your honest at bedtime.
‘’All nursery kids are in dreamland, the froggie has made his last leap...Hell no, you can’t go to the bathroom, you know where you can go? The fuck to sleep’’
Every mum needs a copy!