Monday, 3 July 2017

MPP: The first rule

I have hummed and hahed about writing this post. Not because it's not a Happy Thing. Not because it transgresses my own rules about invading my family's private life. No, because it transgresses the First Rule of Good Sleep.

You haven't heard the First Rule of Good Sleep?

Lucky you.

That probably means you've either never had a child, or you were blessed from the outset with a Good Sleeper. (Or you've forgotten, because it works like that. Time can dull even the sharpest of pain).

The First Rule of Good Sleep is that you don't talk about Good Sleep.

There are two reasons for never talking about Good Sleep. The first reason is that by the very act of speaking about Good Sleep, you immediately jinx it, and for the next year at least your child will wake several times a night and want to get up at 4:30am, and there will be nothing at all that you can do about it. The second reason is that some, one, or all of your friends will have a Bad Sleeper, and will be haggard and drawn, dribbling into their seventeenth cup of coffee of the day by 9:30 and wondering if they will ever have a full night's sleep again. Mentioning a Good Sleeper to someone in possession of a Bad Sleeper is not simply bad form, it's downright cruel.

It is with immense trepidation, for both the above reasons, that I mention the morning of Saturday 1st July 2017.

On this notable morning, LittleBear did not get up and enter our bedroom until quarter to eight. That's right, not just a time starting with a 7, but a time closer to 8 than to 7. And the reason for this was not because he didn't wake up, and not because he was dutifully observing and obeying his GroClock, it was because he decided to open his curtain and read his book for a while after waking up. And when he did trot into our bedroom, he informed me that it was later than usual, and that he had read to himself, "because I knew that you would want to sleep for a bit longer Mummy".

This either shows the most adorable level of empathy, concern and consideration, or it reveals what the rest of my family have long known - I am despicably bad-tempered in the morning. So bad-tempered that I have cowed my poor little boy into staying away from me. And because this is my blog, and my happy post, I shall claim it's the former. BrotherBear and GrannyBear are free to disagree. (BigBear is unable to comment accurately on this tendency, as he is more-or-less comatose, even if nominally awake, until after three mugs of tea, and therefore fails to notice the manner in which I stomp around the house muttering dire imprecations.)

I would like to say in my defense that LittleBear did not "sleep through" even once until he was 8 months old, and did not reliably sleep through the night until he was 21 months old. I know the pain of Bad Sleep, and I know I am fortunate now to have Good Sleep. Please do not hunt me down and stab me to death with a blunt pencil for daring to mention Good Sleep. Please.

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