Saturday, 24 November 2007

I am making it up as I go along

I am making it all up as I go along. Not this blog, life. Full stop. I admit it, hands up on all levels I haven't a clue. I'm not sure at all if anything I do, especially where my children are concerned, is the right thing. In fact I'm doing many many things that I said I would never do; I bribe them shamelessly, I reward them with food, I buy them things to keep them quiet, I shout because I'm the one in a bad mood, I'm sitting here right now with my trousers rolled up and my three year old painting my leg with her make up (which I vowed I would never buy).

The problem is all these things work. They do keep quiet if I give in, food is a great reward, shouting makes mummy feel much much better and Isla is quiet and letting me write because I'm letting her paint my leg. And Bribery? Well bribery should be up there with sliced bread, crikey I can get them to do anything with bribery.

Isla has been going through an appalling sleep phase for about the last 3 1/2 years. She's rubbish at it, she's never clicked that night time is for sleeping not shouting and spends most evenings concocting reasons for us to attend to her. The only thing that has ever worked and given us a few precious hours of sleep is bribery.

We've done every bribe known (and unknown - ever heard of the 'I'll pretend to be a giraffe and chase you tomorrow' bribe?) but obviously the best is the honourable sticker chart - though it depresses me that I get my hints and tips from super nanny. So Isla has a sticker chart; collect all seven to win the prize. But she was quite naughty last night appearing in our room about 4.30am wanting a plaster. She then worked through various requests from insisting the sun was up despite all evidence to the contrary to wanting a bath and her toes washed. None worked though and the result is no star today.

I blame myself really, I jinxed it by buying her Saturday sticker present on Friday, confident she'd get her full quota (I was deranged by sleep deprivation). Her dearest wish is for a 'rectangle and a bread roll'. I hid the rectangle (actually just a small box with a picture of a kitten on it) in the wardrobe and she ate the roll today with her soup non the wiser that it was her present roll. But don't despair, bribery really is the best thing going, it's got us two whole, uninterrupted nights sleep in 3 1/2 years.

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