How many stories have I heard about kids doing everything in their power to prolong the the bedtime routine. It is a sweet time but it’s the end of the day, when the energy is depleted and all the parents want is to sit in silence on the couch, next to each other, preferably with a glass of wine in hand and sigh with contentment. I heard a parent say that every bedtime feels like a hostage escape.
Once or twice when Jackie pushed her luck a little too far I told her: “when I say it’s time to sleep all I want to hear from you is: good night mommy!”
Last night we had a grand play time. we took all the dolls to the doctor and checked their limbs for broken bones. She saw on the door where daddy got his x-ray a sign that looked like her spinner. So now the spinner became our x-ray machine. She has lots of stuffed animals. Some of them have hilarious names. She crakes up when I get into each character, no matter what I make them say or do. She was my assistant and I was the doctor. We even had to fly to a different country to get eyedrops and other medicine.
Daddy was on the couch, working in the other room, leg up. We went and brushed her teeth, she had already taken a bath and her hair dried completely while we were playing. I gave her a ten minute heads up about bed time. As the time was up to go to bed she started using the whiny prolonged voice “but…” So I changed my voice to serious, to tell her I mean business and I said: “Jaclyn, we had a wonderful day together and a lovely night. Please don’t ruin it. Go t bed without whining.” She sat for a moment and thought and then said: “good night mommy. I love you!” and she climbed up in the loft bed because these few weeks daddy is sleeping downstairs with his bad leg. I know her response was all premeditated, but I took it. I’d take it any day.
She was settling in and was goofing around still, dragging her proverbial feet. So I used again the serious “I mean business” voice, to which she responds with big blinking eyes: “ it was a lovely night mommy. Don’t ruin it by yelling at me”. I laughed so hard, my stomach hurt. She is quite something, witty and brave.