It consistently defeats both of us, driving us to the edge
of despair on a daily basis. It's frustrating beyond words
and often leaves us feeling so angry that should our self
restraint give way we fear for the person who finds themselves
in our way. It's not cycling up hills and mountain passes,
hauling buggies along gravel roads, cooking for four on
a camp stove, camping wild on scrubby wasteland, living
in each others' pockets day in day out. The hardest of times
comes at the end of each day when we try to put Cameron
Cameron not getting ready for
"Cameron, it's time to snuggle down to bed," we say as
he puts his nappy on his head. "Don't touch the sides of
the tent," we tell him repeatedly as he throws himself against
the nylon to avoid capture. "Get into your sleeping bag
NOW," we snap to cut short the pillow fight with his brother.
"This is NOT a fun factory," we scold as he bounces around
on Thermarests. "We'll put you in the naughty corner if
you don't go to sleep," we threaten as he lashes out with
his bottle. Our tempers rise: "Do you want a smacked bottom?"
"Yes please," he nods, cheerfully running circles around
us. "OUTSIDE NOW IN THE RAIN WHERE THE ANTS WILL EAT YOU,"
we scream as a last resort. "Ha Ha it's not raining, abra
dabra you've turned into a baby," retorts the devil child.
Cameron pays a visit to the ants
The only tactic we've found that works is
to weep profusely in despair, at which point he becomes
very concerned and consoles us, "It's alright Mummy, Daddy,
don't cry, it's OK, I love you." This buys five minutes
respite before the games begin again. We've tried everything
we can think of including putting them to bed in the buggies
and riding them off to sleep.
Hey this is fun isn't it?
There is only one effective sleep cue for
Cameron and it's a thing we can't give him. Milk, showers,
cuddles, stories and lullabies - none of them work. The
only thing that sends him off to sleep is absolute darkness,
and in a tent in summer this is coming later and later.
To him anything else is a game of bedtime. Real bedtime
is when the light goes out. We're looking forward to winter.