It’s Not All Mary Poppins

He knows why! Mebbe.

“We’ve found out why Daniel keeps demanding to be in our bed in the middle of the night!”

This has been an ongoing issue for a few weeks now. Daniel goes to bed happily, but somewhere after midnight he’s awake and demanding — “Mama! Dada! BED at YOOU!!!” — to join his parents. A demand they didn’t particularly mind accommodating. He slept with them for the first few months of his life, after all, they’re philosophically inclined in favour of co-sleeping … but these days, Daniel has grown into a rather, ah, physical little sleeper.

After a few nights of being kicked, pummelled, punched, thumped, and generally roughed-up in their sleep, mama and dada are no longer so inclined to share their sleeping space.

“If he’d just sleep, it’d be no problem. Thing he, he runs a half-marathon every night. It’s like trying to sleep through five rounds with a light heavy-weight.” Dad mixes his sleep-deprived metaphors in an entirely effective way.

Dad (more than Mum, in this case) has been wondering why this sudden demand. I’ve proffered a few likely possibilities, noting that whatever triggered it three weeks ago is quite probably not what’s continuing the pattern now, anyway, and summing up with my ongoing mantra: You’ll probably never know for sure, and it almost certainly doesn’t matter.

But it’s been bugging dad. He wants to know why. And now he does!!

“He gets lonely for his gramma and grampa in the night, and then he needs company.”

Oh, yes? We know this how?

Well, because Daniel told him, you see.

You all recall that Daniel is 19 months old?


Now, Daniel is a very verbal little guy. He has a good vocabulary and chatters nineteen to the dozen. Lots of words in short! excited! sentences!!! But what Daniel is not is introspective.

Dad had been talking with Daniel about this, and asked a few questions, and over the course of this conversation he had gleaned this nugget of information.

Asked a few questions. Mmm-hmm.

Yesterday I was chatting with Poppy about what she had done on her week off. Now I have no idea what Poppy did. I haven’t spoken with her parents yet, but according to Poppy…

“Did you have a nice week last week?”
“Did you play with mummy and daddy?”
“Did you go see grandma and grandpa?”
“Yeah! Gamma and gampa!!”
“Did you ride in the train?”
“Yes, train!!”

Okay. So now we know she took the train to grandma and grandpa’s, right?

Mebbe. And if I were Daniel’s dad, see, I’d stop here, sure I had the answser! But I’m a smidge more canny than that.

“Did you ride an elephant?”
“Did you sprout wings and fly to the moon?”
“Fly at a moon! Yes!”

You see the problem here?

Now, Daniel’s dad is satisfied with his interpretation. It bothered him that he didn’t know why, and now he does. Not that knowing why changes one single thing … except in dad’s head. With the reason firmly in hand, he feels competent to deal with the behaviour.

In the exact same way he’d have dealt with it without the reason.

I don’t argue. Does it matter? He loves his boy so much. He wants to understand him. And now he does!!! He’s nailed this, and he knows it! He’s relieved, and so pleased with himself. He feels competent. (And he is competent. He was competent before he “knew” why, of course.)

I don’t argue. I’m not going to rain on his parade. He needs this. In fact, I just smile affectionately. If he were his son, I’d be ruffling his hair right now, or poking a finger out to “beep” his button nose. Because, you know? Sometimes the parents are just so damned cuuuute.

March 20, 2012 - Posted by | Daniel, parenting, parents, sleep, socializing


  1. Ah-hahaha! That is so funny! Maybe it’s a dad-thing? My husband is always coming up with concrete (and often bizarre) reasons for the baby’s and toddler’s unreasonable behaviors. I just shake my head because… how can you really know? It is amusing, though.

    Comment by rosie_kate | March 20, 2012 | Reply

  2. My life with my little French bebe’s is pretty similar, except that they speak a completely different language to me. I always think I have NAILED it, that I know EXACTLY what petite beb is saying and I complete the demand (etc) asked of me and BOOM… we have feet stamping and yelling (in French) It is tiring but I figure even if she were speaking English I would play the guessing game with her just as much 🙂

    Love Elle xo

    Comment by Elle | March 20, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: