Monday, March 21, 2011

Goodnight Nobody

Harry despises bedtime. He has never needed as much sleep as we mere mortals do. He could be falling down tired and would still insist he's wide awake and ready for a bike ride. I'm sure, if I think about it, that he's insisted he's not sleepy while actually sleeping. (Nathan, on the other hand will take you by the hand, lead you to his bedroom, weeping and saying "Night Night! Bed! Seeeep!" But I digress.)

So, at nearly 4 years old (how is THAT possible?), Harry still needs a lot of help making the transition from full throttle to passed out. (There is no in between.) That is my job. He will not accept Daddy at bedtime. (Nathan, on the other hand, who still nurses to sleep when I'm home for Pete's sake, will cry for about a minute and then let Daddy take him to bed and will go to sleep on his own. Nature, not nurture, I tell you!) Here's how it goes on a typical night.

7:00 Teeth! Potty! Drink of Water! Which will negate Potty!
7:05 Bargaining over books, while I give Nathan quick nursies.
7:10 Books. Just one! OK, two! That's it! No, you can't have water! Or toast! It's bedtime! No, we can't read it again!
7:20 After making sure all 3 nightlights are on and two stuffed kitty-cats and Curious Georges are on the bed, it's lights out.
7:21 Commence wiggling! Under the covers! Under the pillow! Over the covers! Stand on the bed! Marvel at the static electricity on your pajamas! Ignore Mom's repeated requests of, "Harry, on your pillow please!"
7:25 Wiggling settles into pillow area. Now, begin talking about your day, your week, any random thing you remember from two years ago (no kidding!) that you have saved up for "pillow talk". (And we were worried this kid would never speak. Heh.)
7:35 After Mommy insisting that "talking time is over" for the last 10 minutes, sit up suddenly and say "I smell toast! Can you get me some?" After refusal, discuss breakfast options.
7:40 Sing the "I Love you Song" (Yes, the one from Barney. He loves it. Shut up.) Restart the song after forgetting to include the stuffed kitties and Georges in the "great big hug and kiss from me to you". Then, ask for the "Bob the Builder" song. Shout the "Can We Fix It?" part at the top of your lungs.
7:45 Singing time is over. More wiggling. Turn pillow over to the cool side at least 3 times. Talk quietly to yourself and toss and turn. Hug and snuggle with Mommy. Start picking on her face and neck and back with your fingernails only to be stopped. Toss, turn, repeat.
7:55 Mommy sings some sort of lullaby. Hopefully one that doesn't elicit a million questions about the words.
8:00 Turtle's lights go out. Oh no! Lament the sudden darkness left by only having two nightlights!
8:05 Start to settle down. Yawn a few times. Ask random sleepy questions like, "What happened to the old McDonalds? Why did they build a new one?"
8:10-8:25 Fall asleep. Mommy sneaks out.

Last night, I was getting impatient with Harry's stalling techniques. I told him that big boys go to sleep on their own and that maybe Mommy should give him some room and let him go to sleep by himself. He said, "No, Mommy. Everything goes crazy when you leave."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The perfect pet

Yesterday was the first warm, spring-like day we've had, after a very long winter. Both the kids and the cats were eager to get outside. Temperatures in the mid 60's felt like summer and the 3+ feet of snow has mostly melted. I was out doing some errands when the following event happened, and let me say, that is a good thing. If I had been home, my scream would still be echoing across the land. Here's what hubby reported when I got home.

Harry and Nathan had been playing outside while Daddy was puttering about on the porch and in and out of the house. At one point, he was doing something in another room when he heard (but did not see) Harry run in to the house. Nothing unusual about that. Harry went down to his room and was playing. Daddy said he heard Harry saying "You are my best friend! I'm going to take care of you!" Still, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Harry kept playing, talking, apparently acting out some sort of pretend scenario. He was heard offering breadcrumbs and saying "He's sleeping!" Daddy decided to investigate.

Harry was in his room, playing by the bedside table. He got a little metal mailbox with a flag for Valentine's Day and he likes to put special things in it: matchbox cars, tools, basically anything I won't let him sleep with. He was playing with that and talking to something. Daddy asked, "What's in the box, Harry?"

"My new best friend! He's sleeping. I'm going to take care of him and play with him all the time. I gave him breadcrumbs, but he's sleeping."

"What's in the box, Harry?"

This time, Daddy looked for himself. It was a dead vole. (Remember, the cats were glad to be outside too.)

Needless to say, Harry's new best friend was quickly confiscated and the mailbox was put out of reach so it could be washed. Daddy explained that the vole was not sleeping, but had died when Mu-Mu played with it to hard. Harry was not too upset. If hubby hadn't told me the story, I never would have known it had happened. I do know this, though. No vole could have asked for a better friend.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The ring of what?

More preschool prehistoric fun!

In keeping with the volcanic theme, we've had the book "Volcanoes!" out from the library for nearly a month now. (Apologies to any elementary students needing it for a science report!) Harry claims that Daddy used to be a vulcanologist "a long long time ago" and had one of those awesome silver heat suits. He claims that about nearly everything - race car driver, construction worker, scuba diver. Daddy has been busy in his past lives, apparently. Also, it proves that Harry believes Daddy can do anything. (*Melt*)

Mostly, he loves to look at the map showing the Ring of Fire so he can try to count all the volcanoes. So, our conversation has been going like this. (Note, this was before the events in Japan.)

Me: And this is the Ring of Fire, where there is a lot of volcanic activity. We live over here (points to east coast) and Grandma and Grampa live over here (points to west coast).

Harry: (Starts counting very fast, skipping and making up numbers.) Do Grampa and Grampa (He can't say grandma for some reason.) have a volcano?

Me: No, but they have earthquakes out there. That's when the ground shakes like a train rumbling by.

Harry: What does an earthquake look like? How does it come out of the ground?

Me: You don't see an earthquake. You feel it. We've had some where we live, but not big like in the Ring of Fire. Daddy was in a big earthquake. You can ask him.

Harry: Can we go to the Ring of Fire and see the lava?

Me: You'd like to go see a volcano? Like here? (points to picture of Hawaii's Volcano National Park.)

Harry: (excited now) Yes! And then to the Ring of Dinosaurs!