Monday, November 30, 2015

Bedtime Interrupted!

Ever since I moved back home with my little one, we’re suffering through disturbed sleep every other night….not because of our six month old (touchwood!) but all thanks to our nine year old!  While Abhay had been sleeping in his own room on and off before (more off than on!), neither did we (read father) have the mind nor the energy to insist on it every single time he came cuddling up to us during bedtime. Moreover, with my absence at home, Abhay found many more champions (read grandparents) ready to take up cudgels on his behalf and thus Abhay happily abandoned his own bed for the cozy comfort of co-sleeping with his daddy!  Well…all good things must come to an end….and so did Abhay’s sojourn in our room!  Though Abhay reluctantly gave up his place for his little sister, he is still going through some adjustment issues that range from mosquitoes buzzing in his ears to Lord Voldemont (from Harry Potter) appearing in his dreams and interrupting his and in turn  our sleep!

In the light of this unexpected sleep deprivation …we had to go back to a book that we had read many moons ago… “Good night, Anokhi!” a story from Finland by Tove Appelgren, illustrated by Salla Savolainen  and translated by Arundhati Deosthale as brought out by A & A publications as a part of “Celebrating the Girl child” picture books project. Young Anokhi has a similar problem as Abhay…she cant sleep by herself at night and as she supposedly has terrible nightmares that drives her to her mother’s bed almost every other night! The similarity does not end there as co-sleeping with her parents is out of the question as her mother too has her younger siblings to take care of.  As Anokhi literally gives her parents sleepless nights, her mother tries to explain how everyone including herself needs their sleep in order to be able to function the next day. They try everything to get Anokhi to sleep through the night in her own room, but Anokhi seemed to have developed a habit of waking up in the middle of the night that only has her yawning through the day.  Left with no choice, Anokhi is given a stern warning not to leave her room……come what may! Relentless as she is, ( I guess as every kid is!) Anokhi is yet again bothered by a strange and scary dream, and she heads towards her mother’s room only to remember her mother’s warning. The next morning, Anokhi’s mother wakes up to find her older daughter asleep at her bedroom door, mumbling in her sleep that she is not to wake up Mama. Of course as any mother, Anokhi’s mother feels guilty and wonders if she has been too harsh with her daughter. Finally, Anokhi and her mother choose the middle ground and while there is no compromise on Anokhi sleeping on her own, she is allowed to wake them up should she have a terrible nightmare she can’t cope with!  This story of Anokhi is something most parents can relate to and is surely for keeps…not only for our older one but also for our little one when she is ready to move into her own bed! That’s how it should be with kids, isn’t it?  …allow them to grow independent while you’ve got their back! 

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