Pitter Patter

There’s a most ominous sound in the dead of night that strikes fear in my heart.

It happens when you least expect it. It resounds through the house, yet it really isn’t that loud.

And it manages to rouse me from my slumber far more effectively than the high pitched squeal of my morning alarm.

It’s the pitter patter of tiny feet.

girl running down the hall

image source

Now, before you jump to any conclusions, no I am not talking about the metaphor for having another baby – no, that ship sailed long ago.

I am actually talking about the literal sound of my 2 year old’s tiny feet as she raced through the house in the dead of night.

Hell bent on finding me.

She ALWAYS comes to my side of the bed. Unerringly. Relentlessly. Deliberately.

I’m almost always already awake when she reaches my side. Alerted by the sound of her rapid footsteps meeting our tiled floor as she travels down the hall.

Sometimes I’m out of bed before she gets to me and I scoop her up and carry her back to her bed.

Other times, I lay there, motionless, willing her to turn around and go back down the hall or hoping, for once, that she’ll head to the other side of the bed.

I’m lucky that Delilah is usually happy to be guided back to bed, a kiss, a cuddle and some mummy reassurance is all she needs to return to the land of nod.

Some nights, however, the cycle repeats several times until exhaustion finally claims her.

Luckily for me, I’m used to broken sleep after three children and almost nine years of regular night wakings. I usually fall back to sleep immediately, re-entering a vague, dreamless state, unconsciously readying myself for the next nocturnal visit.

But that still doesn’t give me comfort when I next hear the tell-tale pitter patter of tiny feet!

Do you get night-time visitors too? How do you cope with it?

Do you ever wish that you could just sleep through it all for one blissful night?


Sending a silent plea to my children through the collective power of Essentially Jess and the amazing IBOT community…

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26 Responses

  1. Josefa @always Josefa says:

    PJ religiously comes into our bed every night – I don’t fight it, a small part of me holds onto it dearly, as I know this phase will pass only too soon and there will be no more babies visiting me in the middle of the night. What outs rounded me, was on our summer trip, in so many different hotels – he still always found MY side of the bed!!
    Josefa @always Josefa recently posted..I Blog on Tuesdays

    • Kirsty says:

      Isn’t it funny how they ALWAYS find your side of the bed, wherever you happen to be? And thanks for the reminder to appreciate these moments more – they will end soon enough and I should savour the extra cuddles I get as a part of the nocturnal visits…

  2. Me says:

    It’s many many years since I heard the pitter patter of tiny feet but that isn’t to say I have had lots of uninterrpted sleep – my sleep is nearly as bad as it has ever been !!
    Hope it won’t be long before you are having a full nights uninterrupted sleep !
    Have the best day !
    Me recently posted..Pay It Forward

  3. BossyMummy says:

    Our door handles are quite high, so it never happens. Master 3 also does not seem to realise he could get out of his bed whenever he wants. He will call for me in the morning, then not get out until I go to his room. Makes my long sleeps very easy (sorry, sounds like Im gloating – don’t worry, if I have another one, I’m sure it will be different 🙂 )

    Hello from #teamibot

    • Kirsty says:

      I love how your Master 3 doesn’t even realise he could get out of his bed whenever he wanted to! My Delilah must have been an escape artist in a previous life – we have so much trouble getting her to sleep most nights too as she is too interested in coming out to find out what we’re up to. I think her mantra is “sleep, who needs it?”

  4. Kyla @ TQF says:

    Oh I’m terrible with night visits, but totally the opposite from you – the slightest bump or yell sends me scurrying in to see if he wants to come back into our bed. I miss co-sleeping and always figure that as long as he falls asleep in his own bed the rest is ok.
    Kyla @ TQF recently posted..A Birth Day

    • Kirsty says:

      It’s funny how each child is different. Delilah rarely cries, she comes in for comfort (as does Gilbert) but Matilda will cry and yell out for me to come to her when distressed. Thank goodness they don’t often all wake up in a single night but when it does happen, I’m not the happiest mummy the next morning!

  5. We used to get them often. Thankfully we haven’t had them for a while now (knock on wood). But it was so frequent it got to the point I was sure I’d hear them but he was still tucked up in bed fast asleep! And Nick ALWAYS came to my side of the bed, too! Even when we turned the bed and I was on the far side! x Aroha
    Aroha @ Colours of Sunset recently posted..Chapters of Our Life

    • Kirsty says:

      Aroha, I get the phantom calls in the night too, when I wake up, certain I’ve heard one of the kids but find on inspection that they are all fast asleep! I just can’t win…

  6. Rhianna says:

    Yep regular visitors here as well, and only ever to my side of the bed. I guess they know who the softy is. I actually have a mattress on the floor next to my bed for the time visitors to hang out on in the hope they don’t disturb me. Like you though I am so used to broken sleep that I can generally just drift back off anyway.
    Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses lovely
    Rhianna recently posted..GIVEAWAY – Personal Planner

    • Kirsty says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one with this experience, Rhi. We tried a mattress next to the bed too but I’ve never been able to comfortably sleep with any of the kids in with us so it just messed up with all our sleeps. We had a good night last night so maybe we’ll turn the corner soon – fingers crossed!

  7. Grace says:

    It’s not so much the night visits we have problems with, just the wake up calls. They’re complimented though with the early morning visits. At the moment, I don’t mind them so much because they’ve just started doing it. But I know I’m going to run out of early morning steam soon!
    Grace recently posted..Of Resistance and Acceptance

    • Kirsty says:

      I’m lucky in the mornings. Although I do have 2 early risers (Delilah & Gilbert), Gilbert is old enough to keep her occupied and sort her out until I get up. Otherwise I don’t think I’d be able to cope with interrupted sleep and excessively early mornings… Good luck with your early mornings Grace!

  8. Rita says:

    I have experienced night visits when hubby’s nephew and nieces came for a sleep over. I thought it was cute. I know, I know, that’s because they went back to their parents the next day!
    Rita recently posted..How knitting saved me from having a nervous breakdown

  9. I was hoping for an announcement!
    Haha. But yes our middle child was always a bit of a night creeper, until we stopped giving him wheat, now he sleeps! Bliss 🙂
    Kelly HTandT recently posted..Paths and Attractions that turn into Irritations

    • Kirsty says:

      I thought I’d play that angle for a bit of fun but no, no announcement from me…

      Funny you mention taking wheat out of your son’s diet. My husband is coeliac and all our kids have been tested, although they have all so far been negative. We have all tried a gluten-free diet on occasion, maybe I’ll have to make that a permanent thing, particularly with the girls, who have the most trouble sleeping. Thanks for the tip Kelly!

  10. Emily says:

    I actually wrote a post about this back when I first started blogging – called it Children of the Corn, because I don’t often hear mine running towards me, instead I just wake up to find one of my children staring down at me – their face in my face, scaring the shite out of me! Love this post, totally can relate! Emily x
    Emily recently posted..Boobs – love em’ or hate em’ – they’re part of who you are and where you’ve been.

    • Kirsty says:

      I’ll have to read that one Emily as that’s how my son wakes me in the middle of the night. No sound, no warning, just his pale face right up close to mine!!!

  11. Lucky for me, most of the time they head to Boatman’s side of the bed now 🙂
    Having said that, I do get up if he is working, though I am a lot more cranky. Which is probably why they don’t come to me.
    EssentiallyJess recently posted..Sleeping at the End of the World

    • Kirsty says:

      Yeah, I think I’m the more laidback one (okay, I’m the soft one!) so that’s why they come to me. Most nights I cope okay but on those odd nights when all three of them wake up one after the other, it’s hard to maintain the happy mummy facade!

  12. iSophie says:

    After 9 years of it myself I also get straight back to sleep.

    Every since the Scarlet Fever (and hospital stay) Mr 4 has come looking for me everynight. We figure it’s just something he needs to do right now, and it will pass in time.
    iSophie recently posted..Brighton holiday – Behind the scenes

    • Kirsty says:

      I can certainly understand him doing that after his hospital experience Sophie – I read your posts, that was a scary time for all of you. I’m just glad that I do have the ability to get straight back to sleep, I don’t think I’d be able to function at all, otherwise…

  13. Alicia says:

    I find that in darkness Izzy can navigate her way perfectly to my side of the bed. I can hear her steps and she doesn’t falter!
    Alicia recently posted..Iceburg

    • Kirsty says:

      It’s funny how they can do that – my three can get around the house perfectly in the dark too. Maybe I’ll mess with them one day and change sides with my husband…but I’m sure they’d still find me anyway!

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