Country-Fried Mama

A Yankee “mutha” raising kids in the deep, deep, DEEP South

Night, night

Posted by CountryFriedMama on Mar-14-2009

The sun is barely setting, but it’s bedtime, and I am determined to stay on schedule, even with Country-Fried Daddy out of town.

Belly is desperate for sleep.  I get her bathed and in her jammies, then set Miss D. up at the Mickey Mouse table and chairs in the nursery.  While I feed Belly in the near darkness, Miss D. plays with her baby doll at the table, quietly whispering to it.  I can’t make out the words, but she is stroking the baby’s hair, rocking it, and sitting with her legs crossed in such a grown-up way I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry.  Is she nursing that doll?  She is such a little mommy.

Belly settles quickly, and Miss D. and I head for her bathroom where she takes an abbreviated bath, playing with her letters and asking me incessant questions about what we did today and what we will do tomorrow.

In her room, we put on her jammies, the flannel ones that will probably be too warm any day now.  I decide I love this new soap.  She smells like coconuts.

Miss D.’s wet hair; her bare, pink-painted-toenail feet; that wonderful, just-washed smell all make me vulnerable to her manipulations.  She is growing sophisticated in her delay of bedtime.  I haven’t built in enough time for her slow perusal of the bookcase for the perfect story, her choice of the longest possible book, her insistence on “two songs tonight Mommy, please”, her cries for one more hug  just as I am about to cross the threshold of her room to a quiet evening alone with my laptop a book.

I know Miss D. is just as effective in putting her daddy off the bedtime schedule.  When he is home, CFD bathes Miss D, reads her a story, and puts her to bed.  He has noticed lately that she tends to stop walking in a straight line as bedtime approaches.  She cries “poopy” like the little boy in the fable cried “wolf”.  She begins long, meandering stories without plot, conflict, character development or denouement.  She rolls around on her carpet as he tries to wrestle her into a nightgown.

We are serious about bedtime in this house.  There is a routine, and we have learned the hard way that messing with that routine can cause serious tantrums, even days after the fact.  Even so, Miss D.’s stalling tactics are hard to resist.  Snuggling next to her in her big girl bed is one of my favorite things to do with her.  She leans her body against mine, holding tight to teddy, asking questions about whatever book we’re reading. (”But why do the ducks want to live in the Public Gardens?”  But why do they eat the peanuts? But why…?  But why…? But why…?”)

Before I go to bed each night, I look in on the girls.  Miss D. has usually extricated herself from her blankets, flung her body against the bedrails, and planted her feet beneath her pillows.  I rearrange her, kiss her cheek, and look at her sweet face.  Inevitably, it is a moment in which I regret every instance in that day when I raised my voice or showed frustration, because really, what kind of a mother could do anything but melt over this sleeping beauty, this Princess Aurora-disciple?

I am often tempted to wake her and tell her one more time I love her before I go to sleep.  I restrain myself, though.  Belly will call for me in the night, and Miss D. will be up with the sun.  We’ll do it all over again tomorrow.

This post was written in response to the Parent Bloggers Network BlogBlast sponsored by Sylvania.
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  1. KathyB! Said,

    What a beautiful post. No drama, just simplicity. I LOVE it. You do a great job capturing the normal-ness of life, yet make it feel as special as it is :)

  2. Nicki at Domestic Cents Said,

    That was beautiful to read. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Bubbe Said,

    Heart warming. Hmmmm……

  4. ck Said,

    Country-Fried Mama…that was beautiful. So. Beautiful. I never would’ve thought reading about the stall tactics so prevalent in my house could make me smile. And I’m still smiling.

    Thank you.

  5. Courtney Said,

    I am SO with you on the joys of bedtime. It’s the only time of day my adorable 2 year old son is STILL enough to cuddle. I have a VERY hard time resisting, “Just one more book.” and “Rock Mommy.” I remind myself this time goes too quickly, so I read more one book and rock a few more minutes.

  6. sunnymom Said,

    I think that all kids have the whole putting off bedtime routine down to a T. I know Tooters some nights has every excuse to be up instead of sleeping. As for checking on them at night, I do that too.

    On days that are really hard for me because I do not have a significant other I will sneak into her room and curl up next to Tooters for a while and just watch her sleep. It always puts things into perspective and reminds me what the really important things are. I always come out of the room feeling better and ready to face the world again in the morning.

  7. sunnymom Said,

    BTW I love the blog and would love to add you to my blog roll if you don’t mind.

  8. CountryFriedMama Said,

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Sunnymom, I would be honored to be on your blogroll!

  9. sunnymom Said,

    I am headed back to my site to add you right now. Feel free to add me I always love a good blogger buddy to comment on! 8-)

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