Desperate times call for desperate measures. And desperate measures call for the rapid use of imagination.
When I was a child, my mum had me completely convinced that fairies existed. I used to find scrunched up tiny notes in a shaky hand from a fairy called Whilemina.
My grandad even made me a wand in his workshop. Delighted with my find, I tried to use it. My quick-thinking mum told me it wouldn’t work until I was 16, by which time I’d moved on to boys.
Now, with three girls of my own, I’ve returned to fairies and I’m finding them incredibly useful. The Dummy Fairy was the first to arrive. She happily stole Medium’s soothers and left her a Baby Annabel. Medium child was only delighted.
Our most recent arrival is the Sleep Fairy. She has, in the space of a week, convinced Medium to settle herself to sleep without me sitting in the room and that, if she wakes in the night, she’s not allowed to shout at me. If Medium complies, she finds a little gift under her pillow.
Big, who currently accepts my word as fact at all times, is delighted. She’s gone from singing herself to sleep to looking at her books in complete silence and then dozing off easily and calmly.
Both are thrilled when they wake up to find their treasure. I feel slightly bad that often their treasure is a manky bit of gift wrapping ribbon that I’ve found in a drawer, but hey – so far, it’s worked so I’m not going to knock it.
Of course, Medium still bed hops during the night and she does kick Lovely Husband out of our bed so that she can assume her rightful position beside me. But she’s calm and falls asleep straight away. Compared to the eight or nine screaming fits per night, this is bliss.
I’m wondering if my mum was right all along. There are fairies at the end of the garden and they only come when you really need them. I’ve since invented the Birthday Fairy, who is closely related to the Elf on the Shelf but appears for a month before birthdays. Of course, my favourite fairy is the Wine Fairy. She and I go way back and at times I really do believe she’s my very best friend. Unlike the Diet Fairy.
She’s a necessary evil, but nowhere near as much fun as the Wine and Crisps Fairy. Sigh.
Oh, and FYI, this blog has been typed with one hand touching wood. I don’t want to jinx the Sleep Fairy’s track record and return the nights of the screaming banshee.