Tonight was one for the records, the war records. Tonight was the battle of bedtime, which to any parent is nothing new and can rear it’s ugly head at any unknowingly innocent moment of the night time routine. But tonight you had learned some new warfare techniques which my old strategies weren’t prepared for. Tonight, after weeks of maybe prolonged, but peaceful night nights, you waged war and were determined that one more story was your desired outcome.
As you are now closing in on four in a few short months, it seems your crafty little latest model mind is getting to be quite a match for my 43 year old hard drive. You caught me unprepared for battle after a long day, but then again, that seems to be when all little ones know and think they have a chance for an easy victory.
Our routine went about as normal. After climbing in bed and finishing the third story, you sweetly asked for one more “and I go to bed.” Such innocence and love was in your eyes, and I easily fell under your sweet spell. As that story came to an end you tried your tactic again, I resisted, but you pulled out your heavy ammunition with a huge hug and cuddle and showered me with kisses. How can a mother refuse such techniques?.
Then as you asked for the sixth time, I was finally aware of your trap and put down my barefoot to the bedroom carpet announcing no victory for you in gaining a sixth story. And that’s when it happened, that’s when you waged all out war pulling out every piece of ammunition in your artillery. The tears, the yelling, the jumping up and down and stomping of feet. I tried to retreat, but you only followed. You even resorted to hand combat throwing a toy or two which was quickly confiscated. And then you did it, the one thing I dread most on earth with condo living, you began to scream at the top of your lungs. It was 9 pm and I knew I had to shut this down before neighbors became witness. I had to think quickly – redirect, redirect, redirect. But to what?
And then it happened, a moment of revelation, to do something that is never offered past sunset except on the weekends – to sit on the patio at night and visit your fairy garden. You were not sure as to where this might lead and were hesitant, but the thought won you over. You quickly grabbed the tissues and began to dry your tears, your lips still shaking from all the emotion you had mustered in such a short time frame.
We cautiously opened the door and the breeze and sound of the ocean filled our senses. You checked on your garden then asked for a blanket and at that moment, I knew we had done it. The war was over and peace was in sight.
You climbed in my lap, with the largest stuffie you could find of course, I wrapped you in a blanket and gently rocked you to the ocean’s lullaby.
Silence. Despite the waves, I could hear and feel your breathing relax. I sensed what all caretakers know is true success when your body began to go limp. I snuggled and let the smell of you engulf my senses along with the sea air.
And then you opened your crystal blue eyes and asked to get in bed. It was over. By 9:30 you were blissfully asleep and mother nature had made it all happen.
While raising you is never perfect or easy, it is the greatest blessing and gift on earth. While I will make many mistakes on our journey and we will have many more battles ahead that will make me realize how small these were – for tonight I am just thankful. I hear you breathing in the next room and count my blessings! (ok, so you aren’t in your bed, but that’s a battle for another night).
All my love,