Word of the week: unsettled


It’s been JJ’s second full week at big school. He seems to be taking it in his stride but just at the point where you think a new routine is bedding in, it seems that the dust is once again un-settling as tiredness creeps in. What started off as a pretty chaotic madcap pre-bed ‘routine’ has rapidly descended into the ninth circle of hell as JJ not only encourages his little brother to ignore me and defy my every wish but also seems to be possessed by the devil a little himself, kicking, screaming and seeming to relish this new found naughtiness.

This has not been helped by the fact that their father has been working late shifts and I’ve been flying solo, although the threat of ‘telling Daddy’ has been enough to kickstart the first hints of obedience. As always, once EJ is in his cot, JJ’s defiant behaviour suddenly ebbs away as quickly as it washed in. Last night he even turned to me and said, ‘sorry for being naughty earlier Mummy’ and then ‘are you sorry too?’ to which I replied ‘yes, I’m sorry for getting cross’ and that was enough.

In the meantime EJ’s nice settled routine of going down to bed like a little lamb is also a bit off the rails as he has begun climbing out of his cot and then repeatedly climbing out every time he is deposited back in, screaming at the stair gate demanding to be released. My policy is always to ignore this kind of thing. I’ll only put him back twice – I’m not playing that game! If they have to cry themselves up into a fury then that’s what happens. It happened with JJ for a couple of nights when the gate first went up too. This time it’s different though because, whilst I studiously ignore the screaming and get on with my chores (we’re talking maybe 15 minutes here – and always with the intention of going back to soothe, comfort and reassess once the mood has changed from defiant to just plain tired and upset), JJ can’t in good conscience let EJ sit and stew, preferring to talk to him calmly and kindly through the gate which is actually really sweet and, last night at any rate, left EJ a lot more docile, just wishing for some milk before allowing me to put him back to bed once and for all.

I have to say though, every evening I get more and more on edge in the run up to 6pm when I know I will be chewed up into a mangled shadow of my former self before being spat back out at 7, grasping desperately for the G&T!

As far as the transition into autumn routine goes though, it’s starting to come together. The madness of party planning is over thanks to two birthdays that bookend the holiday period and I’ve actually taken my foot off the pedal and relaxed a bit, even treating myself to a small shopping spree, before I begin to formulate my master plan for the run up to Christmas. This breather has left me with the space to think about me again, as selfish as that might sound. I guess the summer period is always going to be a time filled with wall to wall kidstuff, but once term kicks in and they are back in the capable hands of their educators, it seems like the right time to start thinking about personal goals and dreams outside of motherhood.

So, whilst certain events of the past week have been very unsettling, I look forward to shaking myself out of whatever comfortable furrow life seems to have settled into lately and come a bit more alive with a challenge more demanding than just baking a cake or joining a linky. Watch this space…


The Reading Residence

14 thoughts on “Word of the week: unsettled

  1. The first few weeks, even term, of school are bound to be unsettling lovely. I don’t know if you read a post of mine last year entitled ‘Wanted: Sleep! Can you help?’ It came at the end of Sept and we were at breaking point. It didn’t help that everyone else seemed to have kids that were sleeping better than ever and loving school from the off! Chin up, i’m sure it will get easier!

    Your new challenge sounds ominous, look forward to hearing more xxx #WotW

  2. I’ve been though this kind of thing too. My daughter doesn’t like school anyway and her tiredness meant almost nightly meltdowns. This in turn upset her baby brother who got hysterical so we ended up with neither of them sleeping until very late and two very harassed parents.
    In the end, I decided we should concentrate on the eldest’s meltdown’s as these were the root cause of the problem. I discovered that for us, often all it needed was a sit down and a cuddle shortly after the initial screaming. She settled enough to calm down and little boy was fine. Hard work though!
    I’m fascinated by your challenge-keep us posted 🙂

    • I’m fascinated by it too – don’t know what it is yet but I was a bit of a voyeur on the ‘what I’m writing’ linky this week and it got me thinking about writing challenges. The problem with my eldest is that he is not so much having meltdowns as being deliberately naughty but hopefully that was a one-off! X

  3. Oh dear, it’s always so hard when one triggers the other. We’re moving Little Man into a bed in a couple of weeks, and I suspect we’ll have a similar thing then as with EJ, which was fine to mange when Boo did it, as there was no other child being disturbed, but it’s all different now isn’t it? And I will be watching this space, sounds exciting! x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • We’re moving the two of them into bunk beds soon Jocelyn – which is even more worrying!! Don’t get too excited about my non-existent project yet! I’ll let you know if I ever decide what it’s going to be!! 🙂 X

  4. My girls both went through the stage of being so naughty just after they started school when they were littler…Hang on in there and I hope things are more settled soon x

  5. We’re a way off the disruption school can bring but I can definitely identify with the exhaustion of fraught evenings – Arthur’s going down ok but just waking up so often! He’s 21 months but still breastfed and since the lack of routine in the summer has been feeding almost like a newborn again… So I’ve set myself the challenge of night weaning him. Except with a hubby also working very long hours at the moment it’s looking like something I’m going to have to tackle on my own. Fun and games! But I’m sure we’ll get there eventually 🙂 x

    • Oh good luck Sophie! I never had to deal with that bf weaning but I know from friends that it can go through some pretty relentless times when they are toddlers. School will be a whole different ball game! 🙂 X

  6. Over tiredness can have such an awful effect on routines, especially night time ones. I hope they do settle soon. There is nothing worse than a fraught end to the day when you’re already tired yourself. Bedtime is my most hated part of the day! Thankfully, my lot generally (touch wood!) go down okay, but I’ve had to get rid of the wee girls nap *sob* to get her back on track at bedtime… makes for a rather meltdown-full last hour of the day though! #WotW

  7. The ninth circle of hell indeed! It will settle down – and it’s really sweet that JJ sat and talked to EJ through the gate – moments like that are very special…
    If it’s any consolation my youngest who has just started school has been through the same thing – we have seen a real deterioration in his behaviour at home in that last exhausted hour before bedtime – almost like a return to the tantrum throwing of the terrible twos…however once he’s actually in bed, he is asleep within seconds.
    It does settle down!
    Intrigued as to the new challenge!

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