So let’s play… Sleep or no Sleep?

Sleep or No Sleep Laura Slinn

“Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, to the latest edition of the ever-popular game show ‘Sleep or no Sleep?’. Brought to you in conjunction with Red Bull, Berocca and Calpol.

So with no further ado, we join Dad in his one year old’s bedroom. Oh, it’s not looking good… baby B is sitting  up in his cot and clapping… Dad is lying on the floor. Interesting strategy there, from dad. Less hands on, more hands over his ears. But the clock is ticking, folks… we are forty-five minutes into this round already and B is showing no signs of going back to sleep. Dad is not looking happy and has decided to try a new approach…yes, he’s now stroking B’s back. B is settling… it’s tense here, Ladies and Gentlemen… but it might just be working… B’s eyelids are slowly closing…

Oh no! Dad has tip-toed out of the room too early and B was playing him with a sleeping bluff, folks! Classic baby manoeuvre. And now baby B is screaming again! All together now… let’s say it… ‘Sleep or no Sleep?’. It’s now 2am, a definite ten minute penalty incurred there… oh dear, now Mum is in the room. This could get messy… and I’m not just talking about her hair – that can’t actually get any messier. Is she trying to scare baby B back to sleep? Ha ha ha, only joking folks. I’m sure she won’t look quite that bad in daylight…

Mum is looking at baby B. Would you believe it, Ladies and Gents, she is playing her Calpol card within minutes of getting into the room! Incredible. Wait… well, this is a confident strategy, using up all her tricks in one go, but she has decided to give him milk as well. Dad is out that room quicker than a crawling baby out of an open door… once he has delivered Calpol and milk from downstairs, he knows his part in the game is over for a while, and boy oh boy, does he look relieved.

So here we go, we are into the second hour of ‘Get that bloody baby back to sleep!’. Mum is giving baby B the Calpol. For anyone just joining us, it’s been an unsuccessful night so far for mum and dad. It looks like they might be heading back to bed with no sleep… which would be a shame, as they have been great contestants to watch, if a little dishevelled. Uh oh, folks, mum has made a real schoolgirl error and given baby B the Calpol syringe to hold. He thinks it’s play time! Disaster for mum at this late stage of the game. Ooh, now the syringe is being poked up her nose… she is not looking pleased about this dramatic turn of events. It will take some parenting nous to bring this one back from the brink.

But she manages to prise the syringe out of his hand and he has now settled with his milk. A good strategy, I think, but has she deployed it too early in her shift? Only time will tell, folks, so stay tuned.

Okay, the milk bottle is empty… this is crunch time for mum. Has the milk worked? Mum is on the edge of her seat, rocking baby B gently, and I have to say Ladies and Gents, we are all on the edges of our seats too… will he close his eyes? The suspense is killing me… oh no! Baby B is waving! This is a disaster! And remember, mum has no strategies left now… she entered this round a little light on ideas, it has to be said… this one is really going down to the wire.

Well, this is unusual… she is putting him in his cot anyway… ooh, I don’t like the look on her face… she is not happy. She strokes his back… oh yes, she’s done this before. A very professional movement of the hand, palm down. Oh, and some shushing. I think this is a sign of mum’s desperation… she’s leaning on the cot side, head  down… oh dear, it does appear she may be dribbling a little, what with all that shushing. Enough to put you off your Horlicks, so probably now’s the time to take a quick commercial break…

…so welcome back to  a very exciting edition of ‘Sleep or no sleep’. Mum has been stroking baby B’s back for a long time now… hold on, she’s stopping, hand poised mid-air. She’s leaning into the cot to try and see if he’s asleep… now that’s a high risk strategy folks, we’ve seen that backfire before. But she’s feeling confident and is slowly tip toeing backwards toward the door… she must remember the peg puzzle left on the floor. One step onto that and it could all go horribly wrong… no, she’s avoided it. Good work there, mum. Her hand is on the door… this might be it, folks, at just under forty minutes for her stint. She could still escape with some sleep.  Unbelievable! Calamity! As she opened the door baby B sat bolt upright and has begun to cry again. Can you believe it? That’s at least a fifteen minute penalty, right there. Both mum and dad have fallen for the sleep bluff! Twice in one night. Those two are really up against a professional Sleep or no Sleeper, I think you’ll agree. Disappointing for them, but as parents of two you would think they’d know better by now…

Okay, so it is quietening down in the bedroom again, Ladies and Gentlemen. Back stroking resumes. Mum is looking tired now, though. I am not sure how much longer she can do this for. She checks the clock… she’s been in there a good fifty minutes now. Last time she did a fifty minute stint was a week last Tuesday, stat fans,  but let’s not forget that it was only last night that she was in with baby B at 4.30am.

Mum seems to have decided enough is enough now. She is slowly straightening up… ooh, what was that noise  – the cot or her hips? Mum freezes. Will it wake the baby? No, folks, I think she might have got away with it. Perhaps her first lucky break of the evening. She tiptoes out of the room, forwards this time. The most utilised manoeuvre of the Sleep or no Sleep parents we see. And she knows the floorboards well, sidestepping The Creaker with ease. Tension is mounting here… will she make it out of the room? Remember, she needs to get back into bed and under the duvet before she can officially declare it dad’s turn again. She must watch out for the pyjamas-caught-on-the-door-knob trap, it was a classic Sleep or No Sleep? moment when she inadvertently slammed to door due to pyjama entanglement but not a moment she wants to repeat…  she is almost breaking into a tip-toe run as she crosses the hallway… she’s into the bedroom… this is looking good…. looking good… yes! She is in! Duvet is deployed. And there is no noise from baby B. Nice work, mum.

Well, what a great show, folks. Mum and dad took nearly two hours to get baby B to sleep and go back to bed with only a couple of hours sleep left in the bank, if they are lucky. But let’s just look what they could’ve won! Yes, a full night’s sleep! Yes, you’re right, it does deserve a round of applause. Seven hours of glorious slumber, brought to you from our co-sponsors Single Living. Never mind, mum and dad. We’ll see you tomorrow night so you can have another thrilling attempt at ‘Sleep or no Sleep!’ And remember – keeeeeeeep yawning!”

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4 responses to “So let’s play… Sleep or no Sleep?

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