Five AM little boy wakes up and nothing in his life is right. I tell him it’s still bedtime, show him the clock and try to ignore the wailing and crying and snot dripping down my cheek. He wants a bottle of formula, but that’s not an option and hasn’t been in eons, but he keeps repeating this need again and again and again for a good fifteen twenty minutes. I ignore him and his rising cry.
However, now I have to go to the bathroom so I get up to go downstairs in the dark and he traipses after me. I figure if he wants water, that’s okay and especially okay if he goes down to get it because that’s what a big kid would do. I help turn on the water faucet, but he’s not having it. He definitely wants formula or rice milk – anything but water. I get him some water and head back upstairs with him trailing behind in protest at my obvious lack of compassion. I’m amazed that little girl hasn’t woken up yet because little boy has been pretty noisy, but that wasn’t even the beginning I learned.
“Mom. My Mother. No water-only. I want more not-water-only Mommy. Get up and go downstairs. Please. My mother. Blanket off and go downstairs”
His verbal skills are impressive I think as I try to tune him out, but it’s hard to tune him out as he cries in my ear dripping tears and more snot down my cheek. I try to validate, offer a hug, provide him with the choice of his bed or lying next to me – he won’t be swayed. I think of Super Nanny and all the “It’s time for bed” comments, but he is just SO upset that his little writhing body won’t even be able to fit in the bed. It’s crazy that he’s having this experience because his bottle at bedtime is pretty much water and we never give him anything else during the middle of the night unless he’s sick and then it’s water. And heck – all he DRINKS during the day is water.
I wonder if I’m being too rigid or not sensitive enough to his distress.
And then the dog enters the room and little boy says to the dog (in a very SWEET quiet voice), “no no huckleberry – sister is sleeping – don’t wake her up”.
So, I kinda put two and two together and figure if he can STOP wailing at me just like THAT and speak kindly and gently to the dog and can be concerned about his sister, then perhaps he is going to make it after all through the night without me giving in. I don’t give in.
And sister wakes up. Screaming. She’s got a voice our little girl does and she uses it. I tell little boy that he can go play downstairs or he can go to bed because it’s five thirty as I scoop up little girl and lie down with her. Thankfully, he doesn’t take me up on the offer to go play and instead sniffs, wipes his nose and climbs into bed and falls asleep.
And so does little girl – until 7:30!
Not a bad night after all.