Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tripping Toddlers and How Not to Harsh Their Mellow

It happens to every parent at one point or another.  Little Precious simply won’t go to bed.  Sometimes there is kicking and screaming, sometimes there is pouting and whining and every now and again, there is running and hiding. 

Then there are the stall tactics:  Drawing out book time is always a favorite at my house.  The Baby Belles do their level best to pick out the longest book in their collection.  One day they are going to come at me with the unabridged version of Crime and Punishment.  What parent hasn’t heard the “One More Story, One More Story!” plea?

There is also the “Let Me Finish Watching this Completely Inappropriate TV Show that My Mother Didn’t Know I was Watching!” tactic  Has anyone else noticed that content of Nickelodeon centers entirely around bodily functions?

Let’s not leave out the “I Need a Drink of Waters.”  On the rare nights when I actually have things together, I anticipate the water plea and take a cup upstairs, my little angels don’t want it.  Of course, when water is on the menu, it does add the “I Need to Tinkles” to the bedtime avoidance repertoire. 

Baby Belle 1 provided plenty of the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth in her day, but she’s practically asleep before her head hits the pillow these days.  A full day of school or summer camp with no nap wears her little tookus out.  These days, we are firmly under the thumb of Baby Belle 2’s reign of terror.

In true Baby Belle 2 style, she has added a whole new and unique facet to drawing out bedtime:  Stream of consciousness rambling.  The child is a bit of a chatterbox anyway, but adding the late hour and exhaustion to the mix makes for a loopy, trippy ride.

How weird does it get?  Well, I think that the best thing to do is give you a sample of our conversation from last night:

SCENE:  8:45 PM.  Upstairs in the parents’ bedroom—oh who am I kidding?  Upstairs in the family bedroom of the Council house.  Mama and Baby Belles are snuggled in bed watching Wonder Woman.  Daddy is at a meeting and is due back home shortly after 9:00 PM.

BB2 finishes her bottle and starts to get squirmy and fussy.

Mama:  What’s wrong, sugar?

BB2:  I need to go and see Daddy.

Mama:  Well, Daddy isn’t back just yet.  Hang out in here with me.

BB2:  (Eyes sparkling with unshed tears)  But I need my Daddy.

Mama:  Honey, he’s not at the house right now, but he’ll be home soon.

BB2:  (Tears now being shed with complete abandon)  Daddy took my purple hair!

Mama:  I’m sorry?

BB2:  I had purple hair and it was sparkly and glittery and he took it and put it in his car!

The next twenty minutes consisted of consoling a desolate Baby Belle 2 about the loss of her purple sparkly glittery hair and her naughty father.  When “Naughty Father” returned home, he faced brutal interrogation as to the theft of his child’s fab hair.  Bless his heart, the second he stepped into the bedroom, three fingers pointed at him in quite the J’accuse! moment.  What can I tell you?  Baby Belle 1 and I had been dealing with it for about half an hour at that point.  As I suspected, Scott had absolutely no clue in hell what his youngest child was talking about.

Once we finally got everyone settled down, Baby Belle 2 popped up, put her elbows on my chest and put her chin on her hands.  I could tell that my little angel was just getting warmed up:

(For purposes of clarification, Baby Belle 2 is quite taken with “The Jungle Book.”)

BB2:  Baloo Bear stayed and held up the castle with the monkeys, but the monkeys were mean and the cat and Mowgli ran away.  Baloo Bear let the castle fall.  Why did Baloo Bear go and get the cat and Mowgli?

Mama:  Well, Baloo loved Mowgli and he wanted to be back with him.

BB2:  Oh.  Okay.  Well, Baloo was holding up the castle and the monkeys were mean.  They were bad to Mowgli.  Beatrice [her BFF] was at school today and we played on the playground.  I got on the swings and then we did slides.  I played in the kitchen and I painted.  I washed my hands.  We had cheese crackers for snack.  I got a booboo on my knee.  I need a band-aid. 

Mama:  We’ll get one in the morning.

BB2:  Okay.  I also have a booboo on my foot.  I need an ice pack and I want a Dora band-aid.

Mama:  We’ll get one in the morning.

BB2:  Okay.  Diana Prince is Wonder Woman.  She spins in circles and turns into Wonder Woman.  I spin in circles and turn into a mermaid, a princess or Wonder Woman.  I have very sparkly crowns and I have feathers, too.  Wonder Woman fights the bad guys.  Princesses don’t fight.  Mermaids bite people like sharks.  I want to go swimming.

Mama:  I’ll bet we can do that this weekend.

BB2:  Okay.  Are there purple puppies?

Mama:  Daddy, did you happen to slip any PCP in her cup of peaches at dinner?

Scott was silent, but the bed was now shaking with uncontrollable laughter.

BB2:  Mama, I have to go poop in the potty.

Well, that’s always a good conversation ender.

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