Was a lad (easy). Now a dad to Daisy & Seth (less easy).

A Simple Formula.


e = m sleep2

Here’s my ingenious(!) formula for parenthood where E= euphoria and M = more.

euphoria = more sleep2

Apologies to Einstein for the rip-off because it’s not ingenious at all, just basic common sense. The more sleep the kids and I get, the happier we are. Sleep is precious and I will do whatever it takes to eek out every last potential minute that comes my way.

The quest for e = m sleep2 can do all sorts of things to a rational, normally calm person. In the past ten days both my own folks and my in-laws have been on the receiving end. Maybe yours have too…?

My parents were looking after Seth (aged 1) on Saturday morning as I was stacked out with work. I did break away for an hour to meet up with them for a coffee and give Seth some lunch.

It was heading towards 12.30 when I started with the gentle hints:

“Ooh, time’s knocking on. The little lad will be fast asleep when you pop him in the car if you’re not careful. Lol”.

Of course we all know what I was actually inferring:

“Seth needs a nap by 12.45. If you don’t leave NOW he’ll fall asleep in the car. Then he’ll wake up when you get him home. You’ll try and put him down for a nap but it won’t happen. He’ll scream, be inconsolable for at least ten minutes, then end up totally overtired and unable to drop off. Then, when I pick him up later, he won’t have had his nap, he’ll be grumpy, won’t eat his food properly, will be a nightmare to bath and will be ratty until he eventually falls asleep. My wife will be furious and blame me because it’s my side of the family and that’s just how it is…”

And breathe.

When did I become this person?!

Do you ever do something and as you are doing it you know that you’re being quite annoying. Yet you continue. That was me at that particular moment because when all is said and done… e = m sleep2.

And my in-laws were to feel the brunt of my die-hard-nothing-gets-in-the-way-of-my-sleep attitude the following weekend when they came to visit us for a couple of days.

Bath and bed. The most crucial 40 minutes of the day dictates not only the success of your evening but also how your next 24 hours will pan out. You can’t afford to bollocks it up. Now considering my in-laws live out of town, the normal, rational, sensible, nice thing to do would be to let them cosy up to the kids, read them a book or two and put them to bed. However, in the world of e = m sleep2, niceties count for nothing.

And so I began:

“Why don’t you read her one book and then I’ll finish up with the other two and put her to bed. You can relax downstairs.”


“Look, don’t take this the wrong way but Daisy (aged 3) is very particular. She likes things done the same way every night. If you do her books they’ll take twice as long. It will get past her bedtime and she’ll be overtired. Then when you try and put her to bed you’ll do the wrong songs in the wrong order and she’ll be upset. I’ll have to come up, start again (albeit 30 minutes later than her now out-of-the-window bedtime) and put right the damage you’ve caused by not letting me do it in the first place. Tomorrow she’ll wake early, be tired and quite frankly, it will ruin everyone’s day…”

My poor mother-in-law.

She knew what I meant without me having to say it and resigned herself to a one book allocation.

So I guess the question I pose myself is ‘do I feel bad?’

The answer… a resounding NO.

I’m a better person with sleep and so are my kids. So much better it actually frightens me. So don’t judge me on my momentary indiscretions where sleep rules above all else. Don’t think of me as the bad guy when I want things my way. Don’t be offended if I get a tad precious. Just remember;

e = m sleep2

#lad2dad lesson Seth fell asleep in the car, so I was right!


Author: lad2dad

Dad to Daisy (aged 5) and Seth (aged 3) & Honey (aged hardly anything at all). And I chat on the radio for a living.

10 thoughts on “A Simple Formula.

  1. Love it!!
    So true and I can imagine it goes on in houses all over the world that bedtime routine is crucial for a good night, following day and even week!!

  2. Glad you enjoyed Emma. Thanks! x

  3. Very true, and very funny. Brought back memories of conversations with my parents and in-laws when my daughter was little!

  4. This is so funny but so true!! 🙂 xx

  5. Make me smile! We used to leave written instructions regarding sleep requirements when ours went to stay at grandparents. Thought it was just us that was strange!

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