The Bedtime Routine

goodnight print by stellagirl

"Goodnight" print by stellagirl on etsy.

I don’t mean to brag, but Harper is shaping up to be an absolute champion bedtime staller.  I would like to say I’m one of those mothers who has got the tot so well-trained that I  say goodnight, turn out the light, and am off to scrub the floor or do my taxes or something by 8:15.  (note: I have never done either of those things.)  But in reality, well, I like bedtime.  And at 31, I still insist on being tucked in, which usually includes lengthy chats and requests for water and such, so Biggie Stalls over here has a sympathetic ear.

With the the new big girl bed and all (and by all I mean, the impending arrival of Boombox, aka Baby Brother) I am trying to streamline the epic bedtime a bit.  After bath time we brush hair and teeth and then Harper gets settled into bed and I tell her I am going to read her three books and she says okay and then immediately lists 19 must-reads for the evening.  After books I turn out the light and sing a few lullabies and then leave, and if she’s still awake she chatters a little bit, and then that’s that.

Ha!  Sometimes.  Tonight she was all revved up from an excellent playdate/dinnerdate, and was in rare stalling form.

Stall #1: “Where Mousie?  Where Froggie?  Where Enid babydoll? Where swim caps?”  Yes, she wanted to sleep with two stuffed animals, a Ghost World figurine, and swim caps, both mine and hers.

Stall #2: “Where tiny towels?!”  One needs washcloths to tuck in the dollies, naturally.

Stall #3: Now came a lengthy tussling about, then requesting to have blankets fixed, then tussling about and messing them up again, then requesting to have them fixed again.  It was very important that her hands be tucked in.  Then as soon as they were tucked in they popped out again and requested water, which she wanted me to drink too and then said, “Thank you for sharing water.”  Then the hands had to be retucked.  This happened about four times.

Stall #4: [in the middle of a book] This took the form of a conversation about her room.  “Stars so pretty,” she said thoughtfully, looking at the ceiling, which is painted with silver stars.  “Shells on the beach,” she added, in reference to the string of shells that she found on the beach this summer.  “Daddy made tiger for you,” you being Harper, talking about the tiger print that Adam put on the wall.  Then, reviewing the afternoon’s play date, “Malka laughing so much! Malka and Harper laughing!”  Then, “Harper so tired!  Harper sleeping!”  Hardly!

Stall #5: Now, having exhausted the usual — having demanded a superfluous diaper change, tentatively asked for a snack she doesn’t really want, and having had a request for more books (actually, “all of them”) turned down, Harper starts to get a little more creative.  Half-asleep, she tells me urgently, “Harper eat dogfood.  Doggies eat bagels and muffins.”  I find this news disturbing, but do not follow up.

Stall #5: I tell her I’m going to turn off the light and sing a song.  I do, but the first three lullabies are interrupted with an unsleepy-sounding voice emerging from the bed — “Mama!  Different song pease!”  Sweet Baby J, I think, this is ridiculous.  I need to do something about this stalling business. Just then she whispers, “Love Daddy.  So much.  Love Mommy.  So much.”

The little minx!

2 responses to “The Bedtime Routine

  1. Is there a Tiger Mom reality show yet? Where the kids go right to sleep and never ask for more books?

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