Bedtime can get to be a little rote. You put on pajamas. You read a story. If you’re not dying to unload your kid, you say some prayers. You say silent prayers that your child will actually fall fast asleep without crying for more stories, milk, hugs, or anything else to delay bedtime. And then you cross your fingers, quickly deposit your child into the bed, and run like your life depended on it.
That didn’t work so well for me tonight. Robbie wanted juice (yes, I know it will rot his teeth; that’s why I diluted it). He wanted his ball back. Couldn’t fix that one, since he had torn it into several dozen pieces and thrown them over his crib rails. He wanted Buzz. Not the stuffed one in his crib. It took me a minute to figure out how to approach this request. I wasn’t going to put Toy Story on for him in his crib. Shenanigans like that are reserved for mornings when I want to get an extra hour of sleep.
Instead, I looked behind Robbie’s bedroom door. Isn’t that where all the good stuff hides? In this case, it’s where I had stored Robbie’s new tent. His new Toy Story tent. He looked at me like I had three heads, and then a look of hope crossed his face as he lifted his leg to climb out of the crib. On to his plans, I told Robbie he had to stay in his crib.
His excitement quickly turned to despair, and I could see the tears forming in his eyes. Not wanting anything else to delay me from ABC Family, I assured Robbie that he was going to have even more fun and popped the tent up in his crib. As I put the toys in the tent, Robbie was jumping up and down, saying, “Oh, boy! Tent in bed! Oh, boy!”
I got a cursory, “Night night. Love you.” as Robbie dove headfirst into his tent, ready to drift into dreamland. Or at least play his way there. An hour later, I found him collapsed on his pile of toys, sippy cup resting in the crook of his arm. Epic.