In the hour after bedtime, my three year old left his room with the following requests and explanations:
Tell me a story, Mama.
My blankets are all messed up!
I need socks.
But can we get a police officer hat tomorrow? I need a hat to go with my gun so I can shoot people. (Note: we have no guns, other than junky squirt guns, in our house. Axel’s firearm is a stick, like the one pictured to the left. To my knowledge, he’s never seen any kind of a shoot ‘em up show, unless Thomas the Train has recently become a badass heat-packing crime-fighting choo choo. And still, we’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about how the goal of police officers is not to shoot people. So, the brusque walk up to bed was interrupted by another discussion about gun safety and the role of law enforcement.)
We need to talk about the day tomorrow and what we’re going to do.
But we didn’t talk about the next day and the next day and the next day and the weather.
Is it Saturday?
I really think it’s Saturday.
But no, Mom, I told you, it’s Saturday! Saturday always comes after Tuesday! We haven’t had enough Saturday!
These are in addition to his classic excuses –
I’ve got to go to the bathroom.
I miss Daddy.
It’s cold in my room!
I heard a loud noise.
I’m hungry, so, so hungry.
After each delay, he’s ushered back up to his room and put back into bed as quickly as possible, without giving in to his requests (except when it’s for something like going to the bathroom). It’s a simple strategy, and I’m not sure if it’s the best one – though, eventually, he does fall asleep.
I have to say, I miss the confinement of the crib. When Jonas isn’t ready to go off to dreamland, he sings to his beloved stuffed dog, wins a one-man wrestling match against his pajamas, reads books to his stuffed giraffe – or throws the books and everything else out of his bed. Sometimes I have to go back in for an extra round of Maybe Baby or to tuck him in, but he stays in there. For now, at least.
Axel’s gotten even smarter lately about getting out of bed. No more is it just the need to go to the bathroom or the unseasonable cold snap that’s fallen on his room alone – he’s figured out my mama Kryptonite:
Mama, I forgot to tell you something. Here’s a hug. I love you, Mama.