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This weekend Alfie’s room had a bit of a refresh. His cot was taken down, his Ready Bed deflated, his armchair swapped with a smaller one from the lounge and his new bed installed. Yes, a new bed, a proper little boy new bed. With dinosaur bedding.

There were a lot of conversations about replacing the cot vs buying a bed, and we took a chance that the amount of time it took in scooping up escaped toddlers and replacing them in their beds now would pay dividends later. Plus with the cot dismantled there was a spare mattress kicking about which could be pressed into crash mat duty, so at least if Alfie did decide to ooze off the side of his bed he would have a soft - if not untidy - landing.

Was my son grateful and loving to me for all this effort on behalf of his comfort? Was he ‘eck, he was a little swine all weekend.

He had managed to collect a new set of germs at toddler group during the week and like his father, it turns out Alfie is a lousy patient. Worse, he decided to take out all of his frustration on me by causing me as much pain as he physically could. I have rarely had to set him down and walk away, but I had to several times this weekend for fear I might accidentally give him to the dogs to raise with a heartfelt “see what YOU can do with him!!”

The upside of his snot ridden, strop throwing, drool fest was that he was more eager than usual to take an afternoon nap ... in his new bed. When he dropped off I barely restrained myself from running a lap of the house at the thought of getting an hour or so to myself. Instead I took a photo of the cutes.
True to his weekend form, Alfie was just lulling me into a false sense of security on the sleep front because bedtime was HORRENDOUS. His favourite snugly toy is ‘walla brought all the way from the land down under by Rachy Chums. According to my son, ‘walla is cuddly enough to squish, soft enough to nuzzle, and heavy enough to wrestle.

Yeah, wrestling, that fun game we now play at bedtime apparently.

Bathtime? Happy little boy.

Bedtime milk? Snoozie little boy.

Tuck into bed? Snuffly little boy.

Just about to creep away? BAM eyes wide open, head spins slowly round to where ‘walla is nuzzled into him and it’s – to use sporting parlance - game on.

Back goes the duvet, over goes my boy, furry limbs flapping everywhere as poor ‘walla gets the pounding of his short life. I have no idea what silent transgression occurred but it was being remedied with extreme prejudice. I tried everything I could think of to get Alfie to calm down and go to sleep but he was having none of it, all he wanted in life was to wail on poor ‘walla’s ass.

In the end I got so frustrated I just walked away and left him to it. Keith came back from walking the dogs to find me sitting on the sofa glaring at the TV while a coyote got skinned upstairs. I can understand his look of confusion, because clearly this is not how I usually leave my son at bedtime, but he wisely chose not to question me too closely when I spat the words “he doesn’t want to sleep” up the corridor in his direction.

A few hours later, once the coyote party had been quiet for at least an hour, I snuck upstairs to assess the damage.

And that is when I did a perfect impression of a pair of bagpipes shagging a whoopee cushion.

My son was indeed asleep, snoring in fact, but he wasn’t in his bed. He and ‘walla were on the crash mat, walla lying face up and star shaped, my son curled up face down over him, like for all the world he had finally gotten ‘walla in a wrestling hold and then fallen asleep waiting for the count of 10.

Seeing as it was only 9, I decided to replace Aflie in his bed rather than risk him getting cold later on, so I managed to slide my hands under him and ‘walla and lift them onto the bed in situ. I mention this because that is how I know that ‘walla was absolutely soaking wet. I have no explanation for this, none at all, and the only one who did was fast asleep and also lacking the linguistic skills to explain it to me, so I can only hope that it was the result of prolonged chewing.

It’s at times like these that I miss my little baby boy - the one that couldn’t move, or bite with little rodent teeth, or yank hair out by the roots - but since I am now stuck with a Toddler, I just want to say fair play to you ‘walla, thanks for stepping in and taking some of the abuse this weekend, I appreciate it.

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