Tuesday, 25 September 2007

25Sep07 - Long Distance

I am out of touch today, haven't seen or heard how today went. It is times like these when I wish life could be just a little simpler. A nice easy 9 to 5 job, play with the kids, bathtime, bedtime, white picket fences etc, etc. Pie and sky comes to mind. I know Lucy and particularly Josh cope very well with our upside down life. We try to maintain some kind of routine and have always known how important it is. Lucy from the first day she came home has had the same routine that Josh had at the same age, a regular bath time, Dad/Mum time and bed time. Although it can be a bind at times, especially after a hard day, it is very special and I do miss it when I am away. I am sure it is no different for anybody with small children. With Josh we only had to put up with a few days/a couple of weeks before he realised what bedtime was. With Lucy it took so much longer. For months her body clock was the complete opposite to ours. I can remember being at the end of my tether one night when it was my turn to go without sleep. It was around midnight and Lucy had been crying non stop since going to bed. I had tried cuddling her, singing to her, walking round the house, lights on, lights off and nothing had worked. So I tried the old trick of putting her in the car to drive her around until she fell asleep. She was only 3 or 4 months old. I drove and drove and she cried and cried. Eventually after driving around for about 45 minutes I found myself in Huddersfield. Lucy had not stopped crying and she had cried so much that she had made herself sick. I stopped the car, got out and burst into tears. At the time I could not see an end to it, all normality had disappeared and the future was not somewhere I wanted to go. We were still trying to come to terms with the previous few weeks and the torment seemed endless. I sat on the kerb for a while until I felt stupid and then cleaned Lucy up and drove home. She never did stop crying. But, and I think it is a big but, together Dawn and I stuck with the routine. We spent long nights for some months after that listening to Lucy cry. We didn't want to treat her any differently to the way we treated Josh even though we worried that she would always be different. Eventually there were some nights when she cried herself to sleep and over time they became more frequent. Now Lucy knows when her bedtime is. She doesn't always agree and quite often complains just like any 3 year old would. In fact it makes me smile listening to her sometimes because she has learnt a few different cries. The best one is when she is crying just to get you to go and see her. It starts as a whimper and gradually gets louder and louder the more she thinks she is being ignored. As soon as you open her bedroom door or she hears you coming the crying stops. Quite often she will then talk to you in her own way either to let you know how unhappy she is or to say "I am bored, I can't go to sleep and I just want some company". She is such a character and I am sure she gets it from her brother. I missed bed time tonight. Dawn had to sort them both out so I hope they didn't cause too much mischief. I guess those early months were just something we had to get through but I wouldn't change it. Lucy has given us the strength to deal with most things that life throws at us and we now have a completely different outlook. I know I can speak for Dawn as well, we really appreciate what we have now and wouldn't turn the clocks back for anything.


fairenuff said...

What a beautiful post and I am sure comes as some comfort to families just starting out along a similar road to you. Thank you for being so honest.

Gran & Grandad said...

The best Mum & Dad she could ever have wished for. You make us so proud of you both.
Love from Mum & Dad Haigh XXXX