Monday, April 23, 2007

The Nighty-Night Routine

Scene 1. Lights up on a squirming, giggling, 2 1/2 year old boy-child wiggling around fiercely in his toddler-bed, legs kicking, and somersaulting on his pillow up against the wall at the head of his bed. Tired shadows circle his eyes, and they look pink and tired. Two frazzled-looking parents stand looking down at their whirling little off-spring. A sleeping baby lies in a crib in a room across the hall...

Mommy: "Ok, Gabe. It's time to go to sleep now. You are fresh and clean from your bath, you have on a shirt and pants, you had a snack and your milk and your teeth brushed; we read books, you gave Chloe a hug and a kiss, you let her out your bedroom door and then closed it, we said prayers, Mommy told you a story, Daddy sang you at least 3 songs, Mommy and Daddy gave you a goodnight hug and kiss, Daddy covered you up with your multiple blankets just so, and Mommy got you a sippy cup of water."

Gabe: (chewing on his pacifier) "Can I...can I...can I..." (Mommy interrupts.)

Mommy: (firmly) "Gabriel, take your pacifier out to talk to Mommy. Mommy cannot understand you." (Gabriel pulls pacifier out immediately from his upside down position.)

Gabe: "Can I haff...some moak (milk)?" (hopeful expression)

Mommy: (again firmly) "No Gabe, you cannot have more milk. You already drank your milk, and we brushed your teeth. You cannot have any more milk, because we do not want you to get teeth ouchies. (Gabe flops back onto the bed and eyes her.) Now lay your head on your pillow - right now. (Gabe giggles and wiggles his way onto his pillow.) Ok - night night sweetheart. Mommy loves you."

(Mommy and Daddy exit stage left to a study, set up with comfy chair and desk with deskchair. A protesting cry arises from the bed in the corner. Mommy stops, exchanges glances with Daddy, sighs deeply, and pokes her head back into the room. Daddy settles into comfy chair and picks up his schoolbook.)

Mommy: "What, Gabe?"

Gabe: "I need...I need a hug."

Mommy: "Ok, Mommy will give you one more hug, and then you need to GO TO SLEEP!!! (Crosses room swiftly and gathers Gabe in for a quick hug and kiss, during which he closes his eyes happily and snuggles in.) Ok. It is time to go to sleep. Nighty-night!" (Scurries quickly out of room, thinking hopeful thoughts of blogging/book reading/tea drinking. She hurries to the computer and begins typing.)

(Gabe lays quietly in bed for 14.7 seconds, then his head pops up and he looks around. He struggles out of his blankets and trots quickly to the door, where he stands for a few minutes, slowly turns the knob and gradually opens the door. Mommy's and Daddy's heads turn to the hallway, and a wee little bugger shuffles into view, with a "who-me?" look on his face.)

Daddy: (VERY firmly.) GABRIEL TIMOTHY MILLER. What do you think you are doing?

Gabe: (Nonchalantly and avoiding parental eyes.) Ooh - that's Mommy. Hey Mommy, whatchu doin', Momm - ohh - dat's C'oe (Chloe)! What she - look at C'oe. (Nodding) She's a good girl. Oh! Whas dat?"

Daddy: "GABRIEL. You get back in bed RIGHT. NOW."

Gabe: (eyes whip right back to steely-eyed parents. Breaks into insta-whine.) I need a diapa! I needa f'esh (fresh) diapa! I pee!!! I pee!!! (Pats in general area of freshly diapered crotch and squirms like diaper is saturated with pee.)

Mommy: (getting out of chair) Gabriel, Mommy will change your diaper, but you need to go back to your room right now. (She exits study, bumping into Gabe who is craning his neck to see what he might be missing in the living room.) RIGHT. NOW. (Gabe scurries loudly down the hall, causing Mommy to wince as he thunders past the room of the sleeping baby. Diapa' changing ensues, as Mommy exchanges diaper with .0007 ounces of urine for diaper with .0000 ounces of urine.) Ok, Gabe. Mommy changed your diaper, and now it is time to GO TO SLEEP. If you come out of your room again, you will get leg smacks. Do you hear Mommy?! (Stares sternly at offspring, who is currently working his way back out of bed. He wiggles back into bed a few inches.) Night. Mommy loves. (her exit is cut short by the whine lifting from the bed.)

Gabe: "Can I haff 'nother one paci'?"

Mommy: (tightly) Mommy will get you another one paci'. And then you are going to go to sleep. (Hurries out to living area, peering beneath chairs and cushions, finally triumphantly coming up with pacifier. Hurries back into bedroom, thrusts pacifier at child in bed, and does quick exit, with hasty return to desk chair.)

(Silence. For 20 seconds. Suspicious noises waft out of Elder Child's room, with small stool-sized objects being moved across the floor. "Someone" rustles within the closet. The bedroom door opens, and then closes, and then opens. Footsteps pad quietly into the hall, and small child peers into study. Daddy sighs and gets out of his chair. As he walks toward bedroom, pounding feet race back to toddlerbed. Stern admonishment is given, reminder spank is administered, and covers are rearranged over yawning son. Small wail arises from bed as Daddy begins to exit.)

Gabe: "Can you sit wiff me?"

(Daddy turns and obligingly sinks down onto rug, lying back and stretching his arms over his head. Eyes close. 10 seconds pass. Deep-sleep paci' sucking noises come from zonked out son. Daddy stands up and walks out sleepily to return to schoolbook. Mommy pounds away at keyboard. The house is blissfully quiet as both children (finally) snooze. It is 10:50 PM. All is well.)


heidi rhodes said...

i love your posts. they always crack me up. i to have had many frantic moments searching under covers, toys and couches for missing pacifiers. now is this a every nite thing? it sounds exhausting. but so cute. its so hard not to laugh at them sometimes when they are being naughty and cute at the same time. have a good nite. oh and thanks for the email. i got a hold of her. ~heidi

Cottonista said...

What high drama ensues at the Miller household. "Tim and Carrie are here today to stage for you a little play. So brush your teeth and wash your head; it's time to watch 'It's Time for Bed'."