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."