The Six Stages of Bedtime Resistance

When I was a child I was a pro at making up excuses not to stay in bed at night. My most memorable and valiant effort was probably when I was about three or four. I planned to 'accidentally' roll out of bed while pretending to be asleep. From there I would roll my way out of my bedroom, navigate myself down the stairs and eventually roll into the living room...all while supposedly being asleep. I know, right? Genius. It wasn't well executed though and I don't think I even made it half way across my bedroom floor before my poor mum came upstairs to see what I was piss-arsing about at.

Now Karma has gone and got me and I too have a toddler who is continually finding new and inventive ways not to go to sleep at night. Here are six stages of his bedtime resistance and just a handful of the amazing excuses he might use for getting out of bed.

"It's not bedtime, it's daytime."

In an attempt to try and convince me of this, he may choose to don his best Ocean Colour Scene sunhat with his pyjamas.

Emotional blackmail.
"Please don't leave me." / "I need 8 more kisses and 12 more cuddles." / "You are very beautiful mummy."

This is usually the most successful of his delaying tactics because let's face it, who can resist a fresh-from-the-bath, snuggly toddler telling you how much they love you?

Blatant and ridiculous lies
"I can't go to bed because the clock is looking at me."

This is a lie. There is no clock in his bedroom. The nearest clock is on the landing and he would already need to be out of bed in order to see it. The clock is not looking at him. He is looking at the clock.

"I have tummy ache." / "My ears are itchy." / *Inaudible fake coughing*

Funny how a child who was bouncing off the walls not half an hour ago can develop such sudden and horrific ailments as soon as the lights go out. 

"But...but...carpet, things, it's dark...errrrrm...cabbage?"

At this stage his tired, tiny little mind is too exhausted to think up any more excuses and so he just stutters a series of meaningless, unrelated words. This is usually accompanied by some pathetic limb flailing/growling (him) and some Supernanny inspired sternness (me).


Eventually he realises that there is nothing to be gained from this tomfoolery. It is a battle he will never win. Finally it is wine, Doritos and shit television o'clock.


"Mummyyyyyyy. I need a weeeeeeeeee!"


A Boy's Bedroom on a Budget

I've been thinking about updating Jack's bedroom for a while now. With the exception of swapping the cot for a bed, it's barely changed since he was a baby. But being on a bit of a budget meant that splurging on lots of new furniture or completely redecorating was out of the question, for now at least. Besides, I quite like the existing colour scheme of duck egg blue and beige (a timeless combo that may well see him through to his teenage years when he'll probably decide to paint every wall black or something). So I wasn't really sure what to do to make it a bit more grown up and exciting for him.

I created a Pinterest board to try and gather some inspiration but while I was swooning over teepees, loft conversions and decals, I was also conscious of the fact that this needed to be a fun and functional space, not just somewhere that would look pretty on Instagram; after all Jack's bedroom is his and I don't think he cares how good it looks in lo-fi.

I'm not going to say I've moved mountains here. There is no consistent theme and there were certainly no before and after, 60 Minute Makeover esq reveals. But with some cute soft furnishings, some upcycled furniture and a few finishing touches I think we've managed to give the room a new lease of life. Here's what we've ended up with.

Wall stuff
I picked up this DIY banner from This Modern Life after constantly seeing them crop up in other people's Instagram pictures. I love the look of them and the fact that you can change the message is also a huge selling point...although I lost count of how many times I impaled my thumb on those sodding split pins! I fixed it to the wall using some chevron print washi tape which hasn't budged. This is such a simple thing but it's a lovely focal point with a message that I hope Jack will live by.

I also bought some of these triangular wall stickers to go on the same wall. I had expected them to be a bit bigger than they were so they look a little random and sparse on such a large wall but they add a pop of colour nonetheless.

Jack still has his trusty dinosaur bunting up on the opposite wall too. This was a handmade gift from a friend that he's had since he was just a few weeks old. But hey, a boy can never be too old for dinosaur bunting can he? His bedding is from Primark and is reversible - bears on one side and triangle print (to match the wall stickers) on the other.

Upcycled furniture
A while ago I wrote about the old bookcase I painted for Jack's room. Although it was just a simple paint job, replacing the dull old mahogany with this balmoral blue really made a big difference in brightening up the room (said bookcase has also become a home for his several hundred soft toys). I also made him a bedside table which isn't in the room yet due to the positioning of the bed. I think we're going to have to have a little re-shuffle at some point.

But by far the best piece of upcycled furniture is this customised, comic themed TV stand which sadly I can't take credit for as Carl made it. We picked up the TV stand in a charity shop for just five pounds and Carl painstakingly decoupaged cut out comic strips onto it using Mod Podge and varnish. It doesn't match anything in the room but it's totally unique and Jack loves it. Carl finished it just in time for Santa (aka Granny) to deliver Jack's new TV this Christmas. I know the idea of young children having televisions in their room can sometimes be controversial but providing it's monitored properly I don't think it's a big deal.

Finishing touches
Last but not least, I've been collecting various bits and bobs as finishing touches. I replaced the handles on his wardrobe and drawers which were old and grey and practically dropping off. Again this was such a simple thing but gave an old piece of a furniture a new lease of life. I also stuck some postcards, family photos and a a height chart onto the wardrobe to make it a little brighter. The pictures of the penguin and monkey used to be on the wall in my childhood bedroom and are fab for a little animal lover. The Vtech activity desk was another Christmas present from Granny that he is loving.

I picked up this hipster deer cushion cover on eBay. It came all the way from China and was an absolute steal at about 1.95. The guardian angel is something I've had in his room since he was a baby and currently watches over him from on top of the curtain rail.

So there you have it. We have animals, superheros, comics, dinosaurs, guardian angels, banners, bunting and wall stickers. I did say there was no consistent theme didn't I?! It might not make it onto Pinterest but Jack seems pleased with it and regularly forces invites any guests that come to our house to 'come and see my bedroom'. Best of all it's cost us next to nothing.

Have you got any tips on updating your little one's bedroom on a budget? I'd love to hear them.

My 2016 Goals

Happy new year!

2016 is here. A bright, shiny new year full of promise. And with it comes the temptation to make a handful of resolutions that will ideally transform you into a better human over the course of the year ahead. I've been hearing a lot of skepticism regarding new years resolutions over the past few days, a fair amount of which I can understand. I eye-roll with the best of them when I see another 'new year, new me' Facebook status and I wholeheartedly agree that if you really are determined to make a positive change to your life then you should just crack on, regardless of the time of year.

But, still. A new year does symbolise a new beginning, not least because it's probably time to admit that living on a post-Christmas diet of brie and Baileys is no longer acceptable. So I've compiled a short list of six things I'd like to achieve in 2016. If nothing else, it will be fun to look back on next year and see how many of them lasted past January.

1. Live healthier
I know EVERYONE says this but it's one I'm really committed to - if only because I currently have a gym membership that I'm locked into for another 6 months and a post-christmas pot belly that needs urgent attention. It's not going to be about transforming my entire diet or hitting the gym seven days a week because I know that's not achievable for me - I will always be a fan of a Big Mac and a lie in. But it's about making subtle changes that will enable me to work a little extra exercise and healthier foods into my lifestyle. Because let's face it, good health isn't a certainty and it's not something we should take for granted. I know that my moods, my fitness levels, my general health and my waistline will all benefit from this so here's to a healthy 2016.

2. Blog more
When I started this blog I had high hopes of blogging multiple times a week but sadly that's fallen by the wayside. I'd like to say it's because I don't have the time but I think the more truthful explanation is that I'm just not motivated enough. And that I lack focus about what I want this blog to actually be which stresses me out and saps the enjoyment from it. Rather than getting worked up about that, I think the best thing to do forget who's reading, stop comparing myself to other bloggers and just write what I like.

3. Read more
Similarly, I'd like to say it's because I don't have the time but when Jack's in bed I generally choose to sit in front of mind numbing TV for a while rather than pick up a book. I have tons on my bookshelves that haven't even been opened. I'm going to aim for at least one book a month this year - maybe with some monthly reviews here on the blog to spur me on?

4. Put my phone down...occasionally 
This is going to be a toughie. My iPhone is admittedly like an extra limb and checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the weather, Snapchat etc etc etc has almost become habitual. I'm not going to beat myself up about that too much because when I'm stuck at home with a rabid toddler on a rainy day it's like a lifeline to the outside world. But the thought of missing precious moments with Jack because I'm busy looking at 'funniest cat pictures of 2015' or getting outraged at the latest Twitter publicity stunt from Katie Hopkins is quite worrying. So, I think a sensible reduction in screen time is in order this year.

5. Save money
Another yawn-fest but one that is essential if we ever hope to get a mortgage. Ten years and several properties later, I'm getting pretty sick of paying rent on other people's houses so I really hope that by the end of this year we will be well on the way to owning one of our own. It's not going to be easy. Sacrifices will have to be made (goodbye, Friday night Chinese takeaway *sob*) but the stability of having our own place is important to me so hopefully we can squirrel as much money away as possible.

6. Be adventurous
No bungee jumps or skydives here but, having lived my life as a creature of habit, I'm hoping 2016 will be a year where I start to step out of my comfort zone a bit. Jack will start school in September so I'd love to be able to spend our last year together doing new and exciting stuff. And when he does start school and I have a little extra 'me time' I'd like to think that I'll have the confidence to work towards a more fulfilling job - maybe something that would make use of my vintage obsession? Who knows.

So those are my goals for 2016...what are yours?