Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An Oh- I-Wish-It-Was-Shorter Bedtime Story

We're having issues with N. and bedtime lately. She takes more than an hour sometimes to get settled, meaning she's off and on calling for me and making requests for new animals, drinks, blankets and lights until 9:30 some nights. I'm going to go with the fact that it's hard for her to fall asleep when it's still light out, or she just enjoys manipulating me, and ignore the nagging idea that she might be outgrowing a nap. (This is me, sticking my fingers in my ears and saying "Nah-nah-nah-nah. I can't hear you!!")

Tonight, it's going something like this:
It's 8:20 and I'm lying in bed with N. this evening for the "will you snuggle with me Mommy?" time she's been requesting lately. This is no small feat, given the increasing size of my belly*, and the fact that her bed is really still a crib, with the front side taken off and the mattress lowered almost to floor level.

I complain that her bed is too little for me, and that she needs a big girl bed.
I've explain for the twenty-millionth time why New Baby will eventually need to sleep in her crib. This leads to a tangent about her wanting to keep her Strawberry Shortcake sheets. I tell her they are too small for her big girl bed, but she can use the Strawberry pillowcase if she wants.
"But what pillow New Baby dunna use?" she asks.
I remind her of the tiny one with the cow jumping over the moon that used to be O.'s that he has set aside for New Baby.
This leads her to think about the blue bib that O. also found that says Baby's 1st Birthday that is also in "New Baby's Pile."
"But Mommy, why is it blue? Because boys like things that are blue? Oh yes, and girls like things that is pink. But Mommy, why is it a boy?"
I tell her that I'm not sure, that's just the way things are in our family.
She decides she needs to go check on the pile of things for New Baby, and make sure it is all accounted for. I assure her that it is all fine, and she doesn't need to look at it right this minute, as New Baby isn't even here yet, and won't be for a while.
"But where is he? In you tummy? But why he inside?"
I remind her that he needs to keep growing bigger and stronger until the day he's ready to meet us.
"Can I talk to him in you tummy?"
I tell her that of course she can.
"Hiiiii. Hi, Baby. I have a toy for you in the car, you dunna like it. It is a baby duck and I will show it to you and you dunna laugh and laugh!"
She laughs to herself about this.
"Mommy, I should go out in the car and get that toy for New Baby right now."
I tell her that's not necessary, that it's time to go to bed, and anyway, New Baby won't be able to hold toys or play with things right away when he comes out.
"But isn't he gonna have hands like me?" she asks, incredulous.

Fifteen minutes later, I'm downstairs working on this post, and am not hearing anything on the monitor. I start to think/hope that I may just have lucked out tonight, that playing in the pool late afternoon has actually done the trick and worn her out so much that she's fallen asleep. I haven't even had to venture into the annoyed tone of voice with her yet, much less the "That is ENOUGH! IT IS TIME TO GO TO SLEEP" yelling and she falls asleep crying that so often ends the evening for us.

And then I see little blond curls peeking around the doorframe of the dining room. She has put on half of the jewelry from the jewelry box on her dresser, and is clutching a folded piece of paper in her hand.
I remind her that she can't wear necklaces to bed.

"But Mommy, princesses have to wear jewels! Ariel wears a necklace!"

Not to bed, she doesn't, and neither do you. And what is that piece of paper in your hand?
She shows me that it is her prized wallet sized photo of her cousin at age two, folded into fours. She shows me the writing on the back that details her cousin's name, the date, and age.

"This has sense (sentence) on it tells me where I can go. It says I sposed come down here. It's directions. Hey! Is that my Elmo underpants? What they doing on a floor? They sposed to be in my room with my other underpants!"

I walk her back upstairs, tuck Elmo in safely in with the other underpants, and tuck her in under her favorite blanket. She wants to know why I wasn't in O's room, and why his door is closed. I tell her he is asleep because it is late. I tell her she is supposed to be asleep. I tell her no more getting out of bed.

Two minutes later, she is back downstairs.

"Mommy, which leopard is mine? (she and O. have identical stuffed leopards and they were both lying in the upstairs hallway at bedtime tonight) This is costs money." She holds out the folded picture again for me to see. "This is my costs money that I can buy a leopard. I keep costs money right here in this book so I can get it."
I'm stern this time, and send her up to bed alone.

Three minutes later:

"Moooooom. Mooooommm-y! Moooooo-m!" comes over the monitor.
I go upstairs and stand in her doorway, asking her what is wrong, and tell her it is seriously time to GO TO SLEEP.

"I can go to grocery store in my bed? I dunna buy something. amimal. Like...a pony. I get one at nastics. (gymnastics) There not any kids there, they all ponies. I just pretending."
I ignore this discussion, tell her to go to sleep and not to call for me anymore. If she needs something, she can get out of bed and get it, but then she needs to get right back in bed.

She comes down the next time wearing her plush Hello Kitty backpack backwards so that it is covering her belly.

"Look, I have New Baby in here. Want to see?"

She produces her stuffed horse from inside the zipper.

"Isn't it so cute?"

I'm thinking that nothing about this is so very much cute anymore, especially since I started putting kids to bed at 7:38 tonight, the time they BOTH started requesting their bedtime books be read to them. It is now 9:39.

"Mommy! Moooo-m. Moooooommmmy!" The monitor again.

What, N., What! What is it you want? It is TIME TO BE SLEEPING!

"I need a pacifier for my baby. It is sick."
No. you. do. not. need. anything. from. downstairs. You need to sleeping. You are not to play, you are not to call out. You need to be in bed, and you need to be sleeping. Do you understand me? She puts her hand up over her eyes as if to shield herself.

"Fine. It's not fair."

9:57. She can still be heard talking to herself over the monitor, though it is mumbles now not animated pretend voices for stuffed animals talk. There have been a couple of yawns. I'm hoping this is it for the night. If not, I'm not sure I want you to read a transcript anyway.

*Two different people asked me today if I was about to give birth any day now. No, unless late September has decided to arrive early. Only 25 weeks here, thankyouverymuch. Even J. asked this week if I was sure about the due date. As if he had no participation in its establishment.


Stacia said...

We must never get our girls together. They would never sleep again! (Seriously, I just drafted a post on this topic yesterday after I just couldn't take it anymore!) =>

mep said...

Bedtime woes are the WORST! Losing even moments of the precious evening mommy time is so painful.

But, how cute is N and the new baby pile? Pretty darn cute!

Actchy said...

Oh. Oh, my. I have no idea what is to become of me when the rest of my family (currently in utero) arrives this Fall. I suspect they will arrive at precisely the time when Acey starts engaging in the shenanegans you describe?

Still and all, I love your dialouge. Makes me laugh out loud.