Tichoux often channels Maggie Simpson. She’s fiercely independent, strong willed and freakishly self-reliant for a 14 month old. Like Maggie, Tichoux is exceptionally easy-going and undemanding except when she isn’t – like when she’s very tired or hungry. Hmm, I wonder who she takes after?. At nursery they tell me she is so good that they forget she is there. That would make me a bit cross except I know what they mean. Apart from the odd time when she chucks herself off the sofa she’s pretty good at entertaining herself quietly and sagely. If I hadn’t given birth to her I’d question her maternity.
Like many families, bedtime in the bear household follows a fairly set routine of bath, books, bottle and bed. For convenience and my own sanity both kids tend to follow this routine at the same time. It’s my favourite time of the day – even if I do get soaked from the kids splashing in the bath and my fringe goes frizzy, and even if I do have to hold books high above my head so Tichoux can’t rip the pages out.
Once stories are over, Timinou hops into his bed and I pop Tichoux onto my lap for her evening bottle as I sing soothing lullabies. Well, if the Fireman Sam theme tune can be considered soothing. Then, with both little darlings drifting off to sleep I deposit Tichoux in her own room, and it’s job done. There’s such a sense of satisfaction in seeing them both happy and relaxed and secure: it makes me feel like maybe I’m not too bad at this mummy thing.
Most evenings this goes fairly well to plan but occasionally the kids are just too worn out from their labours at nursery. This gave rise a couple of nights ago to one of Tichoux’s most delightful Maggie moments. At bottle/lullaby time instead of cuddling into me as she usually would she kept getting off my lap and closing the bedroom door to block out the light from the landing. As Timinou needs a little bit of light to sleep I kept reopening the door. The third time she closed it she very pointedly lay down on a pile of clothing on the floor and pretended to go to sleep. For a 14-month old, I was very impressed with her clarity of purpose! Then last night, not wanting to say goodnight to her just yet (does anyone else miss their kids a little bit when they’re sleeping?) I was prolonging the cuddle a little before putting her into her cot but she kept trying to throw herself backwards out of my arms towards the mattress. Get the hint mum!
Of course it won’t be long before she’s too big for cuddles before bed altogether. Timinou stopped when he was around 2 but to be fair that was largely because he was ousted from prime position by a large bump and then a breastfeeding baby. With no third child likely to be nipping at Tichoux’s heels, will she be cuddly for longer? Or will her abandonment of cuddles set the biological clock in motion once more? Watch out bear if so!!