CJDaily's Blog

May 20, 2010

You’re getting sleepy…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 9:39 pm

I”m not sure when or how my daughter trained me, but trained I am.  There is a way of doing things that she likes to adhere to, and it is not unlike living with an obsessively compulsive person who must turn the lights off and on 42 times before leaving the room or they feel the world might end. 

Take our bedtime routine, for example.  When I tell her it is bedtime, she must first close all the doors to all the rooms upstairs before heading into her room.  I don’t know why she needs to do this, but she closes to doors to my parents room, (and their bathroom door if she sees it open), the guest room, my bathroom, my room, and only then will she walk into her room. 

Then, I must go and sit in the rocking chair while she waits by the open door.  She will not close it until I am sitting down, and I have to turn off the light, turn on her sound machine, and pull down all the shades before I do.  Then I sit and she will come over to me and sit on my lap.  Only, it used to be that simple–now she likes to hop over to me, but then she runs right back to the door as soon as she reaches me and tiptoes back, because she likes to walk both ways and she can’t pick only one.  SO–after a double procession and backtrack over to my chair, then she will sit in my lap and allow me to sing her a song.

She always requests the song, and it’s always either “Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins, or “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.  Sometimes she asks for both.  And while I am singing, she will twist and turn in my lap, trying to find the most comfortable position, or possibly just trying to drive me insane.  First she will lean back against my chest and put her legs on mine, but then she will turn to the side so I am cradling her like a baby, and will sling her legs over the side of the chair.  But then she will turn in my lap 180 degrees, and lay her head on my other arm, and fling her legs over the other side of the chair.  It all reminds me of a dog on a rug, turning in circles to pick the prime sleeping position.  Inevitably, she winds up sitting with her back to me once more, legs propped up on mine, but until she reaches this position again it is something like what I imagine holding a thrashing sea otter in place would feel like.  While singing a calming song about bedtime.  Through gritted teeth. 

Then once our song has been sung, I pick her up and bring her over to her bed, but she will latch on to me, monkey style and request one more song.  The shortest song I know, and also one of her favorites, is Do-Re-Mi, also from The Sound of Music, so rather than take her back to the chair, I put her butt on the crib rail and hold her against me while I sing.  Quickly.  “…And that will bring us back to do!  Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do, do, do!  Goodnight!”  I dangle her backwards into her crib and pry her little arms off my neck, stuffing her Pooh Bear and Lovey Bear into each hand, and flinging a blanket over her. 

“Tuck, tuck, tuck!” her imperious voice always demands, and I place her Owl under her head as a pillow, smooth back her hair from her face, and tuck, tuck, tuck the edges of the blanket snugly under her arms and legs.  Then I bend down and give her a kiss, whisper I love her, and beat a hasty retreat from the room before she can think to demand something new. 

I am a sucker, plain and simple.  She likes things a certain way, and rather than face a tantrum if I refuse the second song or close the door myself (the horror) I simply choose not to fight it.  Which means that it takes about twenty minutes to do something that most people could do in five or less.  On Tuesday nights when I am at my Bible study, my Dad puts her to bed and he said she just walks into the room, refuses to be rocked, and lets him just put her in the crib and walk away.  And viola!, she lays down and goes to sleep.  The simplicity of this, to me, is staggering, and slightly envy-inducing. 

When she was a baby I used to sing while I rocked her and think about the day she’d be old enough to ask me for a song.  Now she’s doing it, and I’m grateful that she likes it.  I just didn’t factor in the door-closing, hopping, tip-toeing, thrashing, wiggling side effects that come with it!  But before long, she won’t want to sit on my lap, or let me hold and squeeze her, so I’m cherishing this as much as I can, even with all the complicated fol-der-al.  On the bright side, at least there are no dance numbers!  At least, not yet…

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