Last night, when Destroyer wouldn’t stop screaming at me at bedtime, I sang the first line of “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” and she stopped screaming immediately. She did then spend an hour explaining the plot of Frozen in a combination of hand gestures and burbling (“blob blib breakfast walls hurray blib blob blib”) and after that she screamed at my wife for ten minutes, so this wasn’t the most efficient way of getting her to sleep, but whatever.
Tonight, though, I got home from the track about 8:15, to find them both awake. Destroyer again greeted me with a long account of the day, and then I went in to put La Serpiente down. For the first time in forever (you see, even I can’t resist quoting Frozen) she told me all sorts of details about her day at school, at the thunderstorm she’d been in, the whole nine yards. And then she was asleep ten minutes later.
Meanwhile Destroyer was in no mind to comply with bedtime. She just sat and demanded books and toys and after it got to 9:30, I relieved my wife and then had 45 minutes burbling, occasionally being hit in the face by the hardback book she wanted me to read her. This was beginning to get ridiculous.
Our friends in Seattle, Stacy and Rob, give their boy three bedtime stories and then leave the room, and he burbles to himself until he passes out. Envious of this, tonight I tried an experiment; with Destroyer clearly exhausted but in no mind to submit to the embrace of sleep, we just left the room.
This was not a risk-free approach. Stacy and Rob’s boy is in a cot that he can’t get out of, so he’s stuck in the bedroom. Destroyer, on the other hand, is quite capable of opening doors now. What would we do if she followed us out?
She cried for a few minutes but was probably too tired to conceptualise escape routes from her room, and quickly she went silent. My wife, foolhardy as she is, went to check on her a little later. Why? A watched pot never boils, an observed child never shuts up, etc… Honestly, I was most worried Destroyer had decided to sleep on floor and looking in the room would require opening the door on her head, but there she was, comatose on her bed. So if we can keep this up, we might just get our evenings back, and be able to watch motorcycle races in peace and comfort.
Yeah, a likely story, eh?