Friday, 12 September 2008


For the last few weeks, we have been having trouble getting James to bed most nights - and even more problems getting him to stay there. After many tears and him getting up and being put back to bed, eventually he'd be quiet. We'd go down the hallway much later in the evening, only to find him fast asleep on the wooden floor with Bec and Ra. It was finally revealed that the crocodiles under his bed were going to get him! Obviously he still wasn't happy in his room, but too tired for more fights. We tried several strategies.
First, I told him that there couldn't be any crocodiles in his room, because Mummy won't let them in the house. Unsuccessful.

Then Simon cleared everything from under his bed. Unsuccessful.

Then Simon got the powerful torch out to show James there were no crocodiles there. Unsuccessful.

Then I went out and found a small plastic crocodile to keep the others away. After the first night, that too was unsuccessful ("But the biggers ones (under his bed) will get it").

I'd been investigating larger ones recently, and only yesterday rejected a very cute 1m-long one at a cost of $100!

Today's mail brought a parcel from our favourite Hillbilly, containing Clancy, a lovely crocodile puppet, and a message:

Dear James, Will you please look after Clancy the Croc for me. He needs lots of cuddles and likes to eat pretend fish and pretend flies, Thank You.

At bedtime tonight, we read James the message and brought out Clancy. James cuddled him. Much abbreviated conversation follows:

Mummy: "Are you going to take him to bed?"
James: "I don't want that one."
Mummy: "Oh, look, Clancy likes pretend fish and flies. Do you think he's hungry?"
Clancy: "I'm hungry, can you catch me some fish please?"
(Daddy quickly retrieves James' fishing 'rod' and hook. James happily catches both fish and flies and feeds him.)
Clancy: "Can I have another cuddle?" (Cuddle provided)
Mummy: "Are you going to take him to bed? He likes his cuddles. Isn't he lovely?"
James: "I don't want to take that one to bed."
(Prro Clancy! Mummy and Daddy exchange frustrated grimaces.)
Mummy: "I think he'd be very good at keeping all the other crocodiles away."
James: "No."
(Mummy pretends Bec is a crocodile entering James' room, and Clancy tells him to go away - Bec leaves in a rush.)
James: (giggles) "More?"
(Ra is rapidly procured and scene is re-enacted. More giggles)
(At James' request, scene is repeated another maybe 8 times, with various toys. Each time Clancy uses a different approach, and every time, the crocodile beats a hasty retreat.)
Mummy: "Are you going to take him to bed? He'll keep all the other crocodiles out of your room very well."
James: "I don't want to take that one to bed."
(Mummy and Daddy roll eyes at each other.)
Mummy: "But Clancy needs lots of cuddles." (thinking at top speed) "You see, Clancy's Mummy died, and he needs you to look after him."
James: (sadly) "Clancy's Mummy died? Where did she die?"
Mummy: (ummmm, help!) "In Queensland. So, will you look after him? He'd love to come to bed with you?"
James: (gives Clancy a big cuddle) "There's no room in my bed."
(More rolled eyes, this has never stopped him before, even when he wanted to take his wooden ride-on bike to bed - oh and we said no to that!)
Mummy: "Where's Clancy going to sleep?"
James: "In your room."
Mummy: "But Clancy needs you to look after him"
Daddy: There's no room in Mummy and Daddy's bed either, can't he sleep with you?"
James: "No"
Daddy: "Can he sleep on the mattress next to your bed?"
James: "No. I don't want that one in my room."
(Mummy starting to feel very sorry for poor Clancy!)
Ra: "James, Bec and I want Clancy to come to bed with us, please?"
James: "No"
Bec: "Please, James?"
James: "No, there's no room"
Mummy: "How about we make some room?"
James: "Ok." (Oh, was it that simple?!)

Apart from one brief appearance, and no tears, James went to bed well tonight. A recent check has him fast asleep where he should be.

Late-night update:
At about midnight James woke in tears, requiring me. He needed to go to the toilet (he's still in nappies unfortunately, so this was rather unexpected). After a successful toilet visit, I tucked him back into bed - and along with Bec and Ra, he reached for Clancy!

Update tomorrow with photos of Clancy...


Margaret aka Supermom said...

my oldest used to sleep with all kinds of "friends", but the tiny stuffed owl he owned had to be taken out of the room because it used to "who-who" at him at night and he was scared of that noise!

Ellie said...

Wasn't sure if it would work but thought what they hey when I saw 'him' at the shop.

Kids are funny things.