6:55pm I opened the book; the rabbit who wants to fall asleep.
7:19pm my two year old is down.
7:30pm so is my four year old and I am free to go downstairs.
You may or may not know that we struggle with sleep in this house, be it the tiny baby who didn’t want to sleep or a toddler having issues. Be it the fact that we’ve chosen not to traditionally sleep train my youngest.
However you want to call it, sleep is a premium in our house.
And it’s never been more apparent as to now we are at my mums for the summer, out of routine, out of familiarity, out of bedtime.
Anything which we had settled down has been mixed up, the pair of them are in the same room.
Most notably of all Daddy is away in Qatar while we are on our summer migration.
So we are a little unsettled at the moment. Easily masked during the day, not so much at night. Yep, bedtime is back to being a nightmare.
Who on earth is Roger?! Well he’s a rabbit. That wants to fall asleep of course.
Not heard of The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep then where have you been? Hitting headlines back in 2015 when I had matchsticks propping my eyes open and a newborn baby to blame.
Fast forward to 2017 where people are a lot less sympathetic about a two year old who hates to sleep, and in my sleep deprived mess I’d try anything.
After a hellish night of putting them to bed where I’ve been a yoyo up and down the stairs. Hissing get. back. in. the. bed. for dramatic effect along with other sleep inducing lines such as LIE DOWN AND GO TO SLEEP I GIVE UP WITH YOU BOTH STAY AWAKE NOOOOO DO NOT CLIMB OUT THE COT LIE DOWN. I hopped downstairs, sent Grandma up to deal with the boys who hate to sleep, jumped onto Amazon and ordered the book. On my mums account because she has Amazon Prime and I was in need!
So we head down to London for the day, after a night of my four year old creeping into my bed to kick me repeatedly for an hour before going back to his bed. After the evening I mentioned. Come home and find this.
Are you going to be my saviour?!
The rabbit who wants to fall asleep
I’ll be honest I opened the book and thought, my gosh, I’m going to be here forever. I was expecting a book that said goodnight to everything and then BOOM kids asleep.
I was NOT expecting a million and one page book with instructions on how to speak.
I was not deterred.
Remember – a minimum of an hour to get them to bed and my evening taken away by sitting on the stairs?! Coupled with intermittent screaming as though there was a dinosaur in his bed, with him, eating his leg. It had to be worth a shot right?
I manage to herd them inside, away from the slide and cries of MUMMY IT’S STILL LIGHT.
PJ them up.
Feed them milk.
The story begins…
I am going to tell you a story that can make you feel very sleepy
The four year old looks sleepy. I’m impressed. 15 words and it’s working. Then I look over at the two year old trying to scale the sides of the cot.
Undeterred I carry on.
And not just your ten words on a page. No. We’re talking eight paragraphs, Twenty sentences. Three Hundred words. PER PAGE. For TEN pages.
That’s three thousand words, or thereabouts.
With instructions remember.
So we continue. The four year old interrupting with questions that are not related to the story, the two year old dancing in the cot.
Sing song voice. Emphatic voice. Their names read out. Actions complete.
Three thousand words, two hundred sentences, eighty paragraphs, ten pages. Or thereabouts.
One or two off scripted, emphasised LIE DOWNS.
My two year old is snoring and has been for the past four pages.
My four year old is lying there half asleep, asking for the book. Rolling this way, then that. Snuggling in. Eyes struggling.
I hand him the book.
I leave the room and sit on the landing.
The occasional question floats through and in return he gets a line from the book in a sing song voice, as prescribed by the italics.
It’s nighttime, we’re tired, it’s time to go to sleep goodnight
There is no drama at me leaving the room.
There is no sitting with my head in my hands hissing up the stairs to go to sleep.
There is no running back and forth.
It is calm.
It is quiet.
I have completed as much of the Facebook news feed as my poor sleep deprived brain can take tonight. I’m hungry, I want to eat. On top of that I’ve spent the day travelling I want wine.
I peek in. He is sleeping.
And I think tonight that is my main takeaway.
Yes the story took me TWENTY FIVE minutes to read. 25 minutes of my life on a story that is, at best confusing, that I’m not getting back. But it was a bedtime without fighting, without shouting and without me feeling like the worst mum in the world when I skipped down because they are finally asleep.
Will I try it again?
Sure, tomorrow will see me cracking out the book on two boys who will be well rested because tomorrow they WILL nap. Who won’t be shattered from travelling to London and back in a day. And I’m hopeful.
Not just because they slept tonight (and I had to read to the end of the book and then some for my four year old) but because of how much more relaxed I was.
We’ll see how tomorrow goes, and if it goes horribly wrong then the Rabbit is resigned to the shelf.
But if it doesn’t? Well then I’ll be hoping they fall asleep before page ten as otherwise I might be taking a quick cat nap on the floor….
You can buy your copy of The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep here and if you use Amazon Prime (like I did to my mums address!) then you can get it the very next day….