Single parent for ten days

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My husband has gone on a trip.  To Beijing, in fact.  Everyone in Taiwan assumes he is on a work trip, as the China run is common among executives here.  But no, in fact I am the executive in the family at the moment while he is attending a mindfulness/meditation course.  I am left minding the kids.

Well, I do have help.  We have a wonderful carer (I hate the term ‘maid’), who helps me out from Monday to Friday and for overtime on weekends if need be.  ‘M’ has been coming in super early, and staying until baby (Little A) goes down most nights.  She is an angel.  And with the help of a friendly cabbie she drops Big A off at pre-school and most afternoons picks up him.  By Western standards, I have it made.

But she doesn’t live with us and wasn’t there this evening when Big A threw a tantrum because he did not want to go to sleep.  He REALLY did not want to go to sleep.  Now, I sympathize a bit that it can be really scary to be sleeping alone in your own room when Daddy isn’t there.  So I let him sleep in the same room as Little A for a while.  But he didn’t like that, and wanted to sleep in bed with me.  Well, I held out for a while but caved at pleeeaaase; he is little, after all.  And cute.  And persuasive.

But then he just wouldn’t go to sleep.  Nor would he stay still, or be quiet.  Then he declared ‘I don’t like you,’ because I would not let him listen to the Spiderman cartoon theme song on my phone.  It was 10.30pm by this time and I was tired and had had enough.

I gave him a ‘be quiet or else you go back to your room’ ultimatum, and when he kept being naughty I had to make good on my threat.  Then the yelling, screaming, door banging and door thumping began.  It was a truly passionate display, done in full knowledge that he was supposed to be quiet to avoid waking the baby.  I hope our neighbours don’t think I was sticking needles into him or anything, but hopefully they know what young children can be like.  And super thankfully Little A slept blissfully through it all.

Eventually Big A calmed down enough to say ‘sorry’.  Claiming he was really, really scared of bad men I let him climb back into my bed.  But he STILL would not stop talking, and STILL would not go to sleep.  He even tried the excuse of telling me he was hungry and needed a snack, despite the fact that he refused to eat most of his dinner.  Aaaagh! Is this kid ever going to go down?  He is so cute, so delightfully needy, but not when I have work the next day!

Finally, sometime near 11.00pm he went down to sleep but then I woke up near midnight.  For some reason there was a loudspeaker blaring along the street.  In my half-comotose state, I started worrying that it was an evacuation order for a nuclear incident, and we were the only slumbering ones in Taipei not to know about it.  So I got up, checked what was happening (some random advertisement in Chinese for something at midnight?), then tried to go back to sleep.  And tried.  Nothing happening.  Midnight snack.  Still no sleep.  Doh!

Big A is snoring as I type this.  He has completely taken over my bed, including my blanket and pillow.  So innocent, yet dangerous.  Thankfully I don’t have too many meetings tomorrow.  Which is just as well, because I think it might be a while before I can finally drift off to sleep.

Now I need a cunning plan tomorrow night to lure him back into his own bed and ensure he stays there.  Any suggestions????

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