There are some decisions made in our house that are made just ahead of the need for an A&E visit.
The children’s room no longer has a baby gate at the door because Alfie had taken to moving furniture every night in order to escape and/ or turn the light on so he could play.
The old school method of parenting would tell us that our son lacks discipline and that he shouldn't be getting out of bed to play after we have tucked him in. To those people I tell you to go shove your rod somewhere unpleasant.
I love that we are able to give Alfie some responsibility even at his age. In this case, that means that it is fine for him to decide to play for a while as long as he gets enough sleep to behave like a human being the next day.
The problem for us was a simple one of health and safety because with a child who adores climbing and doesn't have the basic common sense to feel fear, it’s only going to be a matter of time before there is a face/ floor interface issue.
Our solution was to redesign the bedroom entirely.
We got bunk-beds from Freecycle and then I braved IKEA with the sprogs to buy some bedding, a bed canopy and most importantly, a wall light.
Alfie got to choose everything and he is crazy in love with his “Cloudbebemoon” light. It means he can turn a nice low light on and off from his bed without having to balance on his desk. Instead his sister now balances on his desk to look out of the window but y’know, swings and roundabouts.
Alfie must have been feeling a bit deprived of the fun of seeing his dad lunge wide eyed in his direction because once the bedroom danger was removed, he decided to create some more in the lounge.
Actually I blame Keith and his “we will turn the top of the bookcase into a cornucopia of Christmas treats”. Yeah? Cos what you did there, chief, was turn the top of the bookcase into a bloody big challenge for a boy who loves to climb.
Apparently the bookcase is totally achievable for a 3 year old boy balancing a bouncy horse on top of a pouffe. Who knew?
I made dried apple rings (seriously the easiest snack in the world to make), bread sticks, and went through the baking cupboard letting Alfie have a tasting session until he had picked out all the dried fruit and nuts he liked before turning it into a trail mix.
Then I found him a teeny tiny Tupperware bowl and laid me down some ground rules
- You can visit the drawer whenever you like but you can only take as much as will fit in the bowl
- You have to finish your bowl before you come back for anything else
- If you stop eating your meals, you stop getting free access to the drawer
The last one we are still working on but if I were suddenly given free access to a drawer like that I would struggle to control myself for a while as well.
I’ll be honest, Keith is not keen on the idea, but then he is in the grips of his annual “I hate January and it’s all your fault WORLD” malaise so I’m ignoring him until he comes out of hibernation.
I also sleep better at night, the sleep of a mother who doesn't have one ear tuned for the sound of breaking noses.