Not the enemy exactly and not sleeping would be a more accurate term. Also, it should read enemies if the boys are indeed the enemies.
At this point I want to apologise to those readers who face long-term sleeping difficulties with their children due to special needs or other difficulties. The tone of this post is supposed to be lighthearted and the last thing I want to do is to offend.
Nevertheless if someone had told me ten years ago when older boy was a six month old baby that I would still be experiencing some disturbed nights ten years on, I would have been very surprised or at least taken it as some sort of joke. Unfortunately both boys, particularly older boy have very vivid imaginations. They are also the sort of kids who question things and are quite worldly-wise for their respective ages. As an example, on a recent visit to Scotland, older boy was convinced that there was a heroin addict in the field next to the house where he was staying. As I wasn’t there and wouldn’t have investigated even if I was, I have no way of knowing whether this was true.
At the moment we are in the process of decorating younger boys room and the boys are sharing a room. Younger boy likes me to say with him whilst he goes to sleep. Older boy likes me to wait on the landing in case there are any intruders, concern for his Mum clearly doesn’t feature. Obviously neither boy can have their way and I have tried everything to try to stop the pattern we have got into. The night before last I got to stay in my own bed (which in itself is a rarity) but sadly older boy got disturbed when Dad got up to start his early work shift. Older boy started shouting “Mum, “Mum”, getting progressively louder. I tried my best to ignore him but knew it was to no avail. It was only going to get worse, the dog was awake and it was only a matter of time before younger boy would be awake too. The only explanation he could give me was that he was scared and was convinced that there was somebody other than us in the house. I tried to reason with him but not surprisingly lost patience.
Older boy continued to shout at regular intervals, usually just as I was about to fall asleep again and I quickly got to the point where I was too scared to go back to sleep cause I knew I would be even more tired. Yes I am aware how woe is me this sounds but in the wee hours I’m convinced that the thought of getting through the day with very little sleep is worse than the reality. By the way the reality sucks.
So what’s the solution? Will older boy grow out of his vivid imagination. Should I continue to try to be patient and fail to be patient? Lavender oil? A sleep therapist? A clip round the ear? Who knows?