Night driving (The ‘go the f*ck to sleep’ drive)

Both our kids were/are reflux babies. Both are really bad at getting to sleep. The little man didn’t sleep properly till he was 2 and a 1/2. Now he’ll sleep through the night once he goes down but he just won’t go to bed. If he’s asleep by 11 it’s a good night. (someone tagged me in a bedtime routine tag on twitter once, Routine?!?! Oh how I laughed)

There’s a 5 1/2 year gap in age between them. That’s because that’s how long it took to forget about the sleep deprivation. This one is no better. In fact, she’s probably worse.  (Update, she is worse!!)

Did you know that sleep deprivation is the main cause of martial problems and family stress?

(did you see the recent case of the rockabyebaby couple? – that was sleep deprivation)

In a recent survey of 1 wife, conducted in my house*. 100% of housewives felt it contributed to stress in the household. (However, in the same survey it was also found that the husband used to blurt all their secrets out on the internet and no matter how he came across online was generally a grumpy bollocks in person ( sleep or no sleep)). 

*Survey by Daddy Poppins Surveys Inc.

The struggle involved getting children to sleep

I’m all for you dropping a child up to bed and then going to sleep (don’t get me wrong) but when it doesn’t happen then you have to get creative. When they were babies the hoover did the trick (No it wasn’t the broken childhood hoover for those reading from the start) in fact it was more likely to be a YouTube video of continuous 8 hours of Henry the hoover. Side note, the reason this works is that apparently similar to the sound in the womb (There ya go; funny, educational and a bollocks in real life)

As they get older though this doesn’t quite cut the mustard and so you become a nighttime chauffeur to the land of Nod

It’s an obvious step, or at least it seems that way when you are sleep deprived (You heard it here first, hoover sounds are the gateway drug to ‘night driving’). The sound and motion of the car makes them fall asleep when you don’t need them to so why not utilise it when you do. To make a child fall asleep in the car you need the conditions to be comfortable enough to make them feel sleepy but the conditions cant be too comfortable or you’ll fall asleep yourself and probably die. It is a very fine line with very high stakes.

Getting children to fall asleep in the car

Some nights: they’re asleep within minutes (but you give them the few minute spin just to settle them in, of course). These are typically the nights when that are incredibly tired but are ‘fighting sleep’ or ‘being a little bollocks’ (it’s a technical term).

Other nights: you think they’re just about to drop off and the next minute they’ve their hands in the air going round a roundabout going WEEEEE like they’re on a rollercoaster and you honestly feel like just pulling over and letting them out on the roadside. It can seem a totally practical logical decision for that split second. It would certainly make for an interesting chat upon arrival home to your wife.

Wife: “Did she drop off?’

Me: “Yes and no, I kinda dropped her off”

Wife: “I don’t get ya”

Me: “You know the roundabout beside B and Q?, Yeah, I just pulled over and dumped her on the roadside there”

Sometimes (as in the gram above) I’m convinced that they are just being cheeky trying to stay awake for ‘the craic’ but what else could cause them not to drop off to sleep in a lovely moving car.

Daddy Poppins: ‘Get your child to sleep in the car setback list’

  • Hitting a pothole: depends on size, 1 minute for a small one, 4 minutes for a ‘bone-shaking Jacuzzi sized one’
  • Indicators ticking too loudly at the wrong moment: did you ever notice how loud your indicator noise is? you will once you are trying to get a child to sleep in your car. add 1 minute
  • Having to stop in the garage for petrol: Reset the counter you are back at ground zero (do not pass go, do not collect €200). Either risk running out of petrol or do this first, the lights and colours wake them right up
  • Another car blasts full headlights at you: add another 3 minutes to your estimated time to go to sleep
  • Cursing in frustration at any of the above: add 1-2 minutes depending on loudness and severity of word
  • Car door slamming, when exiting the vehicle: depends on the deepness of sleep, coin toss as to when you are back to the start or still ok.
  • Child catching your eye when you’re checking they’re asleep in the rearview mirror: add 2 more minutes to your estimated ‘go to sleep’ time
  • Child catching your eye when you’re checking they’re asleep in the rearview mirror and then calling your name: forget it, you are screwed, Xanax wouldn’t knock this kid out
  • Forgetting you were blasting out Rage against the machine when last in the car: add 2 minutes
  • Phone call from the wife to see how it’s going: add 5 minutes
  • Having to bring another child because you’re the only one at home: forget it you’ll just end up dropping them both off at the roundabout at B and Q

‘The knowledge’

You’ll become an expert at nightdriving after awhile and get to know the ‘good roads’, bumpier surfaces and potholes like the back of your hand. When it comes to the vicinity around my house I have ‘the knowledge’ of Kilmeaden (like a London cabbie knows his area of London).

The transfer, what do you do when they go to sleep?

So they finally drift off, your petrol hasn’t run out (even though the little petrol symbol light has been on since you got in the car). You pull into the driveway, you are done.

Well, you just have to navigate;

  • getting them out of the safety harness,
  • the change in temperature,
  • the front door lock/keys,
  • the yappy dog and
  • 2 stair gates.

Then you just have to place them into the cot and sneak away ………..Easy!?! I’ve had kids finally fall asleep in the car and then wake at each and every stage mentioned above, I’ve also had them woken in the hallway by; other kids, conversations that didn’t need to happen, neighbours putting out their bins and a guy trying to sell me broadband.

And what does this lead to:

Yes, the same child who won’t go to sleep for 3 hours in the car the night before will fall asleep on th3-minutete school run.  As the teens these days would say……FML.