Peta Todd on how essential sleeping rituals can be for childrenMarch 14, 2019
Obviously, for a fish, the palms of a sticky little boy don’t have quite the same benefits as a tank full of water, so Nemo took his last breath. Sweet Everett loved his cold, wet, slimy pet so much he wanted it right next to him as he fell asleep – like a security blanket or teddy bear.
I’m not that keen on sharing my pillow with my children let alone a fish, but when it comes to bedtime, we all have our little rituals. I like to be the last one in bed. I have to check my alarm is on twice so that I can relax, and also have to have a cover on me to snuggle, no matter how warm the temperature outside is.
In childhood, our bedtime habits are even more intense. I bet most of you can remember your own and, if you are a parent, your child’s favourite toy, blanket or nonsense protocol to complete before slumber can ensue.
It’s so funny the things people can take comfort from. My children have never been too obsessed with bed friends, unlike some I know whose whole world would turn upside down if they were to misplace – or a parent accidentally wash – their security blanket.
I would find the pressure of having to keep track of one particular stuffed BFF even more stressful than raising the child itself.
I am not renowned for being able to keep things safe for extended periods of time and most certainly would not be able to resist shoving a stinky, old, chewed teddy bear in the washing machine.
My eldest Finn used to have a blanket that he would prefer to have in his bed with him, but the sky wouldn’t fall in if it wasn’t. Delilah had a white dog, originally named Puppy, who she would occasionally pretend she couldn’t sleep without. I soon figured out that was merely a ploy to delay bedtime.
My brother, on the other hand, used to have to go to sleep holding a label – could be on a blanket or pillow. I used to find it most annoying and would regularly hide said items just to be a loving, big sister.
Do your little people have things they cannot sleep without that have ruined a blissful night’s sleep with a mad panic of rifling through bins and searching online for copycat versions?
Sleeping with – and accidentally killing – an aquatic friend is pretty rare in childhood tales.
But it renews my faith that there is someone for everyone – even if you are from two different worlds. And bless the gilled little fella Nemo, who now really is sleeping with the fishes.
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