Bedtime Battles

My child has learned the art of bedtime procrastination.

“Momma, more night-night?” is the common response to “Okay, it’s bedtime” after reading some stories. And how can I saw no to his little soother-induced-lisp and him batting his sleepy eyelashes?! (FYI, the second most common phrase is “Daddy, go go” – Lucky bastard…)

So he lays down, I tuck him in and I go through the mental “what-can-I-put-next-to-him-to-prevent-him-from-requesting-and-making-me-get-up” checklist. Puppy, check. Panda, check. Water, check. Extra soother, check. Book-of-the-week, check. Blanket on, check. Sound machine and projector on, check. Sanity wearing thin, check.

Operation Bedtime is in full swing. I lay down next to him to give him a few minutes of snuggles. And then suddenly he bolts upright. “Mommy, water?” comes out while he starts moving things around to find it, takes a sip and then lays down.

Suddenly he sees that I am using his Eeyore, that he has absolutely no care for, as a pillow. And OMG MOM THAT”S MY FAVOURITE TOY! So I hand it over with a sigh and snag another abandoned toy. But oh wait. That’s his favourite. So I hand that one over. And slump onto the bed with my arm under my head as a pillow… Only to have little fingers reach out, grasp my hand and tug that arm out from under my head. Because I can’t be comfortable while held captive.

Defeated, I lay with my head on the mattress and little limbs wrapped around my arm like a boa constrictor. Every slight movement of escaping results in a tighter hold until I accept my fate and stop moving.

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Time to get him settled again. We cozy up and I sing him a song. His eyes start slowly drooping closed as his eyes start rolling up. Two more minutes and I can make my escape. Freedom will be mine!

But wait – he bolts upright again. His blanket came off while he was searching for his water and he wants it back on. So I rearrange his blanket after getting him to lay down again. I’m getting sore laying without a pillow because this kid refuses to share, so I tuck an abandoned stuffed toy under my head. I give him his small puppy stuffy that he likes to play with the tags of while falling asleep. And his eyes start to flutter closed again. And my freedom starts appearing in the horizon.

And then his eyes open and within a split second he is sitting up, leaning over me with a big smile on his face. “Mommy, kiss?” How can I say no? I give him a great big smooch, while moving like a ninja and laying him back down with his blanket and stuffed toys, book and water all in position again and he doesn’t even notice. I snuggle him and play with his hair to help him settle faster because my patience is at half of a tank by this point. It’s 7:30pm and I want to relax a bit before my 9:30pm bedtime for work the next day.

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He’s falling asleep – and fast. He’s singing his bedtime song (basically just mumbling as he’s sucking on his soother, he’s done this since he was a few months old and it’s the cutest thing) I do a happy dance, in my head of course, because I don’t want to risk waking my captor. I slip off the edge of the bed with a quick glance to make sure Dean is fast asleep.

It’s a go. EVAC, EVAC! Operation Escape is in full swing.

I tiptoe to the door and out. I’m just closing the door when I hear laughter and scurrying… I look up, though my mind is telling me to make a break for it and to not make eye contact, to see him standing up, bouncing on his bed with a smile on his face.

Mission failed.

I retreat back to Ground Zero and start all over again…

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