Monday, May 17

Wallpapering with a 4 year old is...

....definately not a good idea!

We'd been having problems with Isabelle going to bed. From being a baby, she always went to bed really well (although she still woke up in the night at least once!) but I could put her to bed, read her a story and that was her sorted, she'd go to sleep. Up until about two months ago. She then started creating a fuss. The usual, I don't want to go to bed... I can't sleep.. I don't like the dark.. The shadows scare me (despite her having a night light) .. etc.  Some nights she was still shouting and crying at nearly 10pm after me putting her to bed at 7.30. She'd cry so hard she'd start coughing and almost make herself sick. My usually patient temperament wavered.  Mark kept going on and on.. let her stay up.. erm.. NO. He's always been very relaxed about bedtime and thinks kids should go to bed when they drop. Isabelle is a full on child and doesn't drop! and it's always been me that insists on bedtime, rightly or wrongly. So it was time for a plan. 

I discussed bedtime with Isabelle. I made a star chart for her.. (she has always responded well to star charts) and laid out the rules. She would get ready for bed at 7pm and it's calm down time. This is particularly difficult for a child who just cannot sit still for more than 2 minutes. It doesn't help that Mark is the same way and they just hype each other up! 7.30 is tiddle and teeth time (as we call it). I (or dad) will then read her a story. Then she can have 10 minutes reading time to herself. Then the one who didn't read her story will go up and tuck her in and put the lights out. Providing she goes to sleep quietly and doesn't get up and put the light back on to read again (as she had done on numerous occasions and we found her reading at 10.30pm), then she'd get a sticker in the morning. If she managed to get two full weeks of stickers then I would decorate her bedroom for her, changing it from the babyish Pooh Bear wallpaper to a big girl's bedroom.

She faultered on the first two nights and was so upset (beside herself) and angry with herself that she'd not gone to sleep quietly and therefore didn't (despite trying to bargain with me) get her sticker. She learnt quickly.. and has, since then, gone to bed like the perfect child. So I had to uphold my part of the bargain. So off we went for paint and a pretty new border for her bedroom. My original plan was to leave the lilac paint on the top half of the wall that was already there, paint the bottom half and add a border. As ever, my plan fell at the first hurdle.

I took the Pooh Bear stickers off the top part of the wall and there were dark prints where the paint had faded around them. Bugger! I couldn't paint over the wallpaper on the lower half because as a toddler, Isabelle had had a good old session pulling wallpaper off on one wall. As I pulled the wallpaper off the rest of the room, it took the paint off in patches underneath it, so as I painted with the new paint, it looked terrible. On to plan B. Back down to B&Q to buy wallpaper. The quick job I'd envisioned wasn't going to happen. 

But ahhhh the new inventions of the modern world. Paste you put straight onto the wall! Yay! No more buggering about with a bucket and packet of wallpaper paste, paste table that you've no room on the landing for etc etc. 

So delighted was Isabelle that she was having pretty flowers in her bedroom that she declared that she would help. Noooooooooo! No it's ok honey, I can manage thanks. Go and see Daddy. Daddy just went out. (oh great! and thanks for telling me!) Isabelle's room is the tiny little cupboard that they class as a bedroom, and with her bed, set of drawers and wardrobe in there, plus me and wallpaper, there's not really room to move, especially when she was insisting on being in there too and 'helping' by passing the paste brush/wallpaper/scissors/favourite teddy etc. Why the hell did hubby bugger off when he knew I needed him to supervise his daughter.

Anyway.. to cut a long story short (as short as my temper was by the end of the day) I managed to get the wallpaper on, including that bloody awful fiddly bit around the radiator and it still looked reasonable. Isabelle gave me one of her good girl stickers because I was "just fantastic" for wallpapering.

So today I have to paint the top half and then get the border on. Physically, I'm not sure I can do it. Due to fibromyalgia, my body is absolutely screaming today and I have a busy  afternoon and evening ahead. I could leave it for hubby to do if I want a botch job, although he is still in a  lot of pain with the torn ligament in his knee, and I really don't feel like trying to coerce/bribe/blackmail him into doing it when he gets home from work, so I may as well do the job myself, even if it takes the rest of the week to do. 

All that said, I do think it will look nice once it's done, but I'm definately not going into the painting and decorating business, especially with a 4 year old "helper".