The perils of going on a bear hunt, at 6am

March 19, 2014

Going on a bear huntAfter two years of consistently inconsistent sleep, I’m thrilled to say the mini-me is now sleeping a lot better. She’s still an early riser, although she’ll now snore through to 6.30, which is a blissful lie-in compared to her previous 5- 5.30 am starts. Occasionally, though, like this morning, she throws an early start into the mix; just to keep us on our toes, you see.

The problem is that once she’s awake, she’s wide awake, whereas after two years of disturbed sleep I am not a morning person. And the challenge is always to find a happy medium of ways to entertain her that don’t involve me getting out of bed.

So at 6am this morning, we were both reciting ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’. It’s one of her current favourite books (along with a Chinese takeaway menu that came through the door – seriously) and we both know it from memory, so it doesn’t involve me opening my eyes much in the gloom to peer at a page.

It’s such a great book, dramatic, brilliantly repetitive, fun, and an enormously vivid story even when you don’t read with the pictures. This in itself is not without problems though, as I found as we came towards the end this morning. As follows…

  • Me: *reading* Quick! Into the house, up the stairs…
  • E: Mummy! The bear is coming!
  • Me: It’s OK! They’ve shut the door, remember? The bear is trapped outside so he can’t get them
  • E: Mummy! Bear is coming, shut our door!
  • Me: *shuffles out of bed, shuts bedroom door. Gets back into bed*
  • E: Oh no, bear get Mummy!
  • Me: Don’t worry, it’s not a real bear, he’s a book bear, remember? I’m sure he’s very friendly really…and the bear is slow, mummy is very fast
  • Alex: *snorts*
  • Me: And remember at the end? The bear goes home and we say ‘bye bye bear’
  • E: Bye bye bear

There’s silence for a few seconds. I hopefully close my eyes. And then…

  • E: Mummy, does bear go home for dinner?
  • Me: *sleep mumbles* Yes, yes he does
  • E: What does bear eat for dinner?
  • Me: What do you think he has?
  • E: *thinks* Mashed potatoes, fish fingers and peas
  • Me: And ketchup?
  • E: yes *nods sagely* Can I have peas for breakfast?

There’s silence for a few moments.

  • Me: *optimistically* Shall we go back to sleep?

More silence. And then…

  • E: No, wake UP, mummy! More Bear Hunt please.

I peer at the clock, it’s 6.06. Going on a bear hunt again? It is Far. Too. Early.


  • Shirley

    March 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Love her. That’s why babies constantly throw toys out of pram at such an early age to bend your will to appease them. Next it will be Mum can I have £10 please, Mum can I have, Mum, MUM

  • On motherhood |

    March 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    […] hair as she sleeps, and hear the soft rise and fall of her breath. And snuggling up and reciting Bear Hunt and reading a million Miffy books when she wakes […]

  • Alternative reading list for toddlers |

    May 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    […] loves books. Like most toddlers, she’s obsessed with Miffy, and tea-eating tigers, and bear hunts, and whatever mischief Alfie gets up to, and all the old favourites and newer versions and magical […]

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