Trying not to sigh, Penny put down her book next to her well-earned glass of wine and looked up at her five year old daughter.
“It is vital that a secure and regular bedtime routine is established or children will never settle to a good night’s sleep and this is detrimental to their health and well-being. Put them straight back to bed – This is a time for tough love.” Said the self-help book How to bring up your child right – Penny knew she needed to be firm.
‘Come on now sweetheart, remember what we say to dragons … “One two three, dragons don’t scare me.” Now back to bed and I’ll come up and tuck you in in a couple of minutes.’
‘But mummy, I said all that, just like you told me – and he just copied me and laughed! He said he’s going to get me for standing on his tail. I told him it was a haxtident but he said he’s going to tell his mum on m – m – me!’ Amy’s bottom lip started to wobble. Then she played her trump card.
‘And he said my pyjamas are rubbish!’ Tears welling up in her eyes.
Penny’s resolve crumbled, self-help books don’t always know best after all. She scooped her youngest daughter onto her lap. Amy snuggled up beneath Penny’s chin in her pink brushed cotton pyjamas with the dark pink bunny rabbits on.
‘Well we can’t have that can we? No-one says nasty, mean things about my princess when she’s wearing the pyjamas of happiness, maybe tonight you should sleep with the magical wand of rainbows under your pillow so you have happy dreams about rainbows.’ She improvised quickly, grabbing the pink fluffy wand out of the toy- box. Thank God the older girls were asleep or they’d be quoting that little gem for the rest of the week! ‘And if that doesn’t work, you can whack him with teddy. Teddy will always look after you my love.’
Meanwhile up in Amy’s room under the bed with the ‘Frozen’ duvet cover and pink gossamer curtains; the little dragon curled up and tried to go back to sleep.
‘Now Hubert, we’ve talked about this before darling; little girls don’t exist!’ said Mummy dragon. ‘I know your tail hurts but we’ve put on the bandage of strength and it’ll be better in the morning. Now snuggle down and go to sleep.’ The self-help book said that it was dangerous to indulge these kind of fantasies if a young dragon was to grow up strong and brave.