Minor irritations!

Way back when......... when Nick was a little person and one who screeched his needs or pulled us along to whatever he wanted.  The years when the Maitland household was his to do with what he wished.  The years when he was the boss and look out if you didn't do what he commanded. Anyone interested in a few things that drove me around the bend?  

  • I used to have to lie with him at night (until around the age of seven) because he wouldn't go to sleep without anyone with him.  We ended up using a sleep technique to break this pattern - I know, it was a bit mean but I was starting to visualize putting a pillow over his head!!!!  Better to be cruel than in jail and especially a South African jail!!  Besides it took less than a week and we haven't looked back!  We then spent another year of him climbing into our bed in the middle of a night - this was not fun because he was generally awake by 4am! Thanks to a lovely girl called Diante he was cured of the bed hopping routine. To this day Nick still wakes incredibly early, anytime from 3.30am! The one and only positive point of his lack of flexible thinking is that he stays in bed until we go to get him up.  Yes, I should be encouraging him to think "Oh yay, I am awake, it's time to get up, go to the loo and then wake mum and dad"…… at 3.30am – I don’t think so!!  A girl needs her sleep, otherwise life would not be pleasant for all of those around her!!
  • The food issue is a killer and this still drives me crazy.  Nick eats the same thing day in day out.  Now, I am not one to force a child to eat, therefore, I will try and introduce new foods by adding a slight variation to his meal. I tell him about the new food and then place it strategically on top of his spaghetti bolognaise (supper!). Does this tiny little extra bit of something new get eaten - NO!  He can find the smallest sliver of the 'new food' and push it to one side. By the way, it took over six months of putting bolognaise sauce on his spaghetti before he started to eat the sauce – he would pull out each individual strand of spaghetti and eat them one by one!!  Regardless of Nick’s ‘diet’ he is a very healthy child – must be the lentils and vegetables I sneak into the bolognaise!!!  Any wonderful ideas would be gratefully received!
  • Dare we talk about toileting!  Shock horror, Nick was unable to understand the concept of doing a wee on the loo.......... we eventually began serious toilet training when he was consistently dry at night (oh dear – around the age of 8!). This was not an easy feat.  We put him on the loo as soon as we got him up in the morning..... I would then read him a story, run the tap, blah, blah, blah. Ten minutes later Allan would do the same and so on and so forth. Our time limit at sitting him on the loo was one hour!  Our patience and persistence paid off and after a week or so he had figured out what to do!  I am not going to go into details about the # 2's, only to say that FINALLY a year ago, life as we knew it changed dramatically and I can't tell you how relieved (ecstatic) we are :-)
This has turned into a long post - enough for now!



  1. I don't think those are minor irritations for they have a huge impact on your quality of life!

  2. We are going to conquer those food issues!! :) But Yes Nick is one healthy guy!!!


  3. Di what was the sleep technique you used to break the pattern of Nick needing someone to lie with him? Also interested to know how you cured the bed-hopping routine. Our sleeping arrangements are very much 'musical beds' - we have made some good progress but as puberty approaches I would like Philip to be permanently in his own room.
    Glad to hear you got the number 2's sorted! ;-)

  4. Hi Zoe
    I would put him to bed, say goodnight and then close his bedroom door on the way out! I left him to cry (feel very mean about that - but was at the end of my tether!), however, I only left him for around 3 minutes. I would then go in, pull up his blankets,(really just to reassure him that I wasn't abandoning him - although I made a point of not saying a word!). I would then leave for another 3/4 minutes....... an so on and so forth. The first three nights were the hardest!! As for the bed hopping, as soon as Nick appeared at the bedroom door in the middle of the night, Diante just said "go back to bed Nick" (is that right Dee???) By the time we got home from our holiday we had a little boy who didn't bother us at night any more! :)


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