Bedtime has, in recent months, been quite a doddle for Miss Rose. She happily trots upstairs to brush her teeth, gets into bed, has her milk and her story, and falls asleep. Simple.
Bedtime used to be a struggle with Z who has systematically found ways to fight having to go to sleep in louder and louder ways.
They have gone into full reverse.
At nearly 2 years old, Z tends to settle down after the initial screaming period and fall asleep. At 2 and a half years old, Miss Rose has started to suffer from separation anxiety. Whereas originally I sat by the bed reading her story, she now needs to have physical contact with me. Where I used to leave the room with her dozing off contentedly, she will now panic and call “Mummy mummy mummy” if she senses my leaving. Where she used to take less than twenty minutes from brushing teeth to me leaving, it is now closer to an hour. Sometimes more.
Separation anxiety. The realisation that mummy leaves and, maybe, mummy won’t come back.
I am finding her do it more and more in the day too. I could easily leave her in the living room watching TV and playing whilst I went to the kitchen to cook or wash up. There is an open hatch between the two rooms so we can easily see one another and she was absolutely fine with this, rarely needing to look to the hatch if at all. Now she will often get up and charge after me if I leave the room. She will cling to my legs whilst I do things. It is worse when Z is there and I have the two of them fighting over who gets to cling to my legs whilst Miss Rose screeches “NO! IT’S MY MUMMY!”
It’s a phase she will settle out of. I know this because she has been through phases before with various things and has always settled out of them. It’s just a matter of gently reassuring here I am here, being patient and calm with bedtime, and try to firmly but fairly stick to the rules so she knows the boundaries are still there, the rules are still there, and the consistency she needs hasn’t moved. But it’s hard. It’s easy to get frustrated and wound up.
Calm. Firm. Patient. These are my rules I try to live by. It’s just a phase.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!