Here comes the sun

Gro-clock sun

The sun, this morning

I’ve written before about how much we love Gro-clocks. Megan’s hasn’t been quite the raging success that Heather’s was, but to be fair to her she’s only now reaching the age Heather was when we got hers, and I think she’s just about there. She definitely understands the concept of staying in bed until the sun comes up, she’s just not very good at executing it. But she’s getting better, and that’s all we can hope for at this stage.

Now, since I started cycling to work, I’ve developed a very fixed morning routine. It’s become a well-oiled machine, just like my bike itself: out of bed, pull on my clothes, visit the bathroom, put lunch in my bag, eat breakfast, and go. No room for dawdling, something which can sometimes be difficult with small people around.

This morning I was in the bathroom, doing… well, what one does in the bathroom… when I heard the pitter patter of toddler feet. Toddlers aren’t renowned for respecting privacy, so I wasn’t surprised when Megan appeared to tell me cheerfully that the sun was up. I asked her if it really was (knowing that it would be) and she said she’d go and check. What I wasn’t expecting was the next bit:

“Close your eyes… and no peeking!”

Now, when a 2 year old tells you to close your eyes and not to peek, what can you do but comply? So I’m not really sure what the banging, huffing, puffing and muttering that followed was all about. I think she had knocked her Gro-clock over in trying to turn it round, but I guess we’ll never know. Eventually, though, I was told I could open my eyes, and there was Megan, standing proudly beside her Gro-clock where the sun was, indeed, up. “See? Sun’s up” she said. And it was!

And then, just to add to the feeling of “aren’t kids great?”, Heather appears from her room to tell us we were being too noisy! 4 going on 14, that one.

Of course, all these goings on somewhat derailed my smooth machine-like morning routine. But in this instance I’m not fussed. I don’t get to spend much time with the girls during the week, so moments like this are absolutely priceless.

I just had to pedal a little faster to make up the lost time.

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

Movin’ on up

Megan's cot - before pic

Now you see it…

Way back in the mists of time, before I set up the only boy in the house (a year ago last Friday, fact fans!), there was Lunch Hour Waffle, my first toe in the water of the blogging world. To be honest it wasn’t that good – believe it or not, it was more rambly and less focused than this blog is – and I’m glad I decided to change things. Although I did bring those old posts with me when I changed, as a kind of starter for ten.

One of those was about Heather’s transition from cot to bed, and how much help the Gro-Clock had been. Astonishingly, almost two years on, we’ve now reached the same point with Megan, and it’s interesting to now be able to read back on our experiences with Heather. And with that experience, and having fixed the cot that caused so much trauma last time, we’ve been able to plan things much better this time round, and so far that plan seems to be working.

Our cot isn’t one of those that converts into a bed, but it does have a drop-side that’s fairly easy to remove, without affecting the structure and stability of the cot itself. It’s what we did   with Heather until her new room was clear and the bed built, and it’s what we’re doing with Megan too. And I think it’s a great way to get her used to sleeping without bars on all sides, not least because the mattress is at a height that’s not only easy for her to climb onto, but is also low enough that she won’t hurt herself if she falls out. Which she has done – several times in fact, but we’ve put a duvet down to pad the floor a bit, and so far those falls haven’t even woken her, never mind injured her!

Megan's cot - after pic

… now you don’t!

One thing that is different this time is how easy it’s been putting her to bed, in comparison to Heather at the same stage. Either she’s not yet worked out that she can climb out, or she’s quite content going to sleep rather than taking advantage of her new-found freedom. I suspect it’s the latter, because Megan’s always loved her bed, but I guess time will tell. At this point with Heather it could take us up to an hour to get her to stay in bed long enough to fall asleep so we’re definitely winning.

And, when it comes to morning, we’ve bought Megan a Gro-Clock of her very own, and after a couple of days she’s just about got the hang of staying in bed until it turns yellow and the sun appears. Honestly, I don’t think we could ask for anything more from her – the ease with which she’s adapted to the change is astonishing.

That said, there is the possibility it could all change when we move her into a proper bed, but I’m pretty confident that won’t be any problem whatsoever. Once she stops rolling out in her sleep, obviously!

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

When I wake up early in the morning…

Heather's Big Girl Bed!

Heather is growing up so quickly it’s ridiculous. Her first steps and words, those important markers in every child’s development, seem like a million years ago. I thought the rate of change would have slowed down by now, but if anything the last three months feel like even more of a whirlwind than the preceding two years.

Back in March, when Megan was born, Heather was still in nappies 24/7 and still slept in a cot. She’s been nappyless during the day for about a month now (even managing a wee in the toilet on our cake date at 3 Steps to Heaven!). As of Sunday night she’s been nappyless at night too, and doing about as well as can be expected.

Something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now, though, is her transition from cot to bed – or Big Girl Bed as Heather likes to call it. We’d planned to move her before Megan needed the cot, and had bought the bed well in advance – it was on offer and flat packed beds don’t clutter the place up too much. Things happened sooner than we expected, though, thanks to the cot’s drop-side coming off one of its runners one night at bed-time – THE INCIDENT as I like to call it.

After a couple of minutes it became apparent that fixing the side would involve partially dismantling the cot – not ideal when your toddler is sobbing her eyes out because her cot is broken. And so began the job of convincing her that it wasn’t broken, and that we’d taken the side off as a practice for the big girl bed she was so looking forward to sleeping in.

Getting her to stay in bed those first few nights was a challenge, although not as bad as it could have been. For the most part Heather is a good sleeper, so once she actually dropped off we didn’t have too much trouble – getting her to stay in bed long enough to drop off was the harder part. And especially once she was in her new Big Girl Room, with its Big Girl Bed, bedtime was good again. There was just one more problem – light mornings!

Being woken at 5am by a toddler who’s convinced it’s getting up time, because it’s light outside, isn’t fun. Trying to convince said toddler that she needs to go back to bed because it’s too early is even less fun -and it’s hard to argue with the light coming through the cracks in the curtains!

It was Gem who came up with the solution though – we got her a Gro-clock, and for me it is absolutely the best parenting gadget we’ve bought. I genuinely can’t speak highly enough about it, and would recommend it to anyone in an instant.

Like all the best ideas, it’s pretty simple – when your child should be asleep it shows a blue star, and when it’s time to get up it turns into a yellow sun. What could be simpler? Getting up time is set just like an alarm clock, and two different times can be pre-programmed, which means we can easily sneak a few extra minutes in bed at weekends. The buttons also have a lock function, to stop your little one bringing the sun up early – invaluable with a child like Heather who will press any buttons she sees, and is very adept at figuring out what they do.

Stay in bed...

...until the sun!

The clock comes with a rhyming story book, about the animals on Sleepy Farm who club together to buy lazy Percy Pig a Gro-clock so he’ll know when to stay in bed – see what they’ve done there? After two months of reading it every night at bed-time, Heather pretty much knows the story off by heart – and Mummy and Daddy aren’t far behind!

Again, we might have been lucky, but it only took a night or two for Heather to get the hang of it, and now it’s rare to see her up before the sun. In fact, there have been a few times we’ve heard her get a book out and read in bed while she waits for the sun, rather than coming to wake us.

Amazon are currently selling the Gro-clock for £22.75, and it’s definitely worth every penny!

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!