Thursday, February 12, 2009

They're only little once

Ever since Oliver was born we have wanted to do things right. We aren't the strictest or most regimented parents in the world - Gina Ford regimes are not for us - but neither are we the most laid back and laissez faire.

There are several possible reasons for this, not least the fact that things like bedtimes regimes and sleeping well become very important when you know there's no-one around to give you a break. The last time Hayley and I got a lie-in together was the morning after I proposed to her last August. There's every chance that the next one we get will be the day after I marry her this coming August.

But recently we've started to relax the rules. In particular, Hayley had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with a fellow Mum that has changed bedtimes. Her friend was commenting that she sometimes gets into bed with her child for a cuddle before they go to sleep. "After all, they're only little once."

Well, this coincided nicely with the arrival of Oliver's bed, so cuddles were entirely feasible and Hayley decided to follow her friend's example, getting in with Oliver for a few minutes before going downstairs.

Not to be outdone, when I put Oliver to bed the next night, it was my turn to get in with him. Since then it has been hard for us to deny him this small addition to his bedtime ritual. Often when we try to leave he tells us "But I'll be sad". Other times he hides under the covers and says he's scared of spiders, though not really sounding very scared at all. Almost without exception when we do finally tear ourselves away he goes to sleep without a fuss.

Tonight I lay there with him looking at the space ships and flying saucers on the walls of his room. I asked if he would like to go to the moon with me in a rocket. He said he did. I asked who we should take.
"Isabel, Cara, Niamh and Clare [Cara's Mum]. But there won't be room for Clare." It's worth noting at this point that Clare is about 6 feet tall. It might not be relevant. I digress. The conversation continued.

Me: "And shall we take some sandwiches?"
O: "We'll get some in the rocket."
Me: "Oh wow will they sell them in the rocket?"
Oliver laughed, "Noooooo!"
Me: "And what will we have on our sandwiches?"
O: "Cucumber. Ham. Tomato and orange."
Me: "Orange!!! Wow that sounds delicious. And what will we do on the moon?"
O: "Have our sandwiches."
Me: "That will be great. Perhaps we'll see Sam's Daddy on the moon." (Sam is the main character in one of Oliver's favourite books 'Daddy on the Moon'.)
O: "Yeah. And will Sam ride in our space ship?"
Me: "Yes we can give him a ride and let him have a sandwich."
O: "Tomorrow, after nursery, we will go to the moon."
Me: "Well, we might have to wait a while to go on a rocket, but we can pretend and then we can come back to earth and have fish and chips with Mummy and Lucy."
O: "Yes we can."

Lying there in the near darkness with my little boy, laughing and fantasising about riding in space-ships as he wriggled around under the duvet, was just about the best place to be on this planet or any other.


Alice said...

This is like a bedtime story in itself. So sweet =)

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