Monday, February 12, 2007

On Stalling

Beau and Carmella have always been pretty good about bedtime. We've never had any huge battles or nighttime tantrums. They are much more passive aggressive in their resistance. Their bedtime refusal tactic of choice is the stall.

Lately they are really pushing it and it is getting somewhat out of hand. Most days I am done. But some days I have a tiny bit of patience left in me and can indulge them and let them push that bedtime envelope.

Here are some of their stalling tricks:
The book stall. As in please Mommy, please read another book.
I am a 2 book girl, sometimes just one book if no one is paying attention. Occasionally I'll do 3. We read books on my bed or the couch. They try to get me do it again in each of their beds. Nothing doing. I tried reading each a book in their own bed but then they just get out of their bed and come in each other's room. Total bedtime bedlam results.

The water stall. They will drink all the water in the cup on their bedside table and then come to me with their sad empty cups begging for more water as if I haven't spent the whole day trying to get them drink a cup of water. Not to mention they seem perfectly capable of pushing chairs and turning on faucets the rest of the time well enough to get water on their own.

The I have a question stall. Either Ryan or I will be called up to their rooms because of some pressing question that is holding sleep hostage. So we go up to their rooms prepared for some great and perplexing question of the universe. But instead when we get there they hem and haw and think up some lame question like: Tomorrow? For breakfast? Can I have waffles? This is what I walked up stairs to hear just when Entertainment Tonight was about to reveal Lindsay's latest escapade? Puuulease, give me a break. As if it was totally impossible for you to go sleep wondering if it is going to be waffles or oatmeal tomorrow. Waffles. Everyday. Every. Single.Day. Waffles.

The kiss stall. As in I need to kiss Lola or Daddy or Mommy because I didn't really do it right the first time. Admittedly this one was hard to resist the first few thousands times because what sort of parent refuses from their child a plea of "I want to give you a kisssss!!!! Please I want to kiss youuuuu!!!"

But tonight's stall was the I need to tell you something very secret and very private in my bed stall. This one is very serious. Well, at least it seems that way when they tiptoe downstairs and won't meet your eye and whisper that they have something to tell you in their bed.

Okay, really this stall is Carmella's but Beau does it because Carmella did it first and he almost always says, you guessed it, "Parker eats turkey."

Nothing earth shattering has yet to be revealed but I err on the side of caution and I always oblige this stall. You never know. Most times though the serious revelation is so ridiculous that it is damn near impossible to suppress giggles and offer advice with a straight face--especially if I have already had my glass of wine. So far I have managed to be nothing but a facade of serious understanding.

So last night Carmella came down about 15 minutes after I put her to bed requesting my forum in her bed. I told her to give me a minute. I went in there and she began the tale of: One time. A really long time ago. Like, when I was four. (Sigh. Again? This one again?)When Daddy was in the shower (Okay this is new info) and I was watching TV and playing with my Barbie that had a heart necklace? (Well at least this didn't happen on Mommy's watch)I accidentally put it in my mouth and swallowed it. What happened to that necklace?
Me: We've covered this before. What do you think happened to it?
Carmella: It went through my body and came out in the potty and got flushed away.
Me: Most likely. Why? Do you want me to take you to the doctor to double check?
Carmella: (nodding and then quietly adds) And get an x-ray.
Me: Oh, I see. (Beau has x-rays). Well honey, I promise you that by this point the necklace is gone but you cannot swallow anything weird just to get an x-ray. Okay?
Carmella: Okay.

So then we have our kisses and I tuck her back in and head downstairs. But Beau calls me into his room with a desperate I need to tell you something Mommy plea.
Me: (climbing into his bed)Yes?
Beau: I heard something.
Me: What?
Beau: In my closet.
Me: Oh, is it a monster?
Beau: No (but looks excited at the prospect that there might actually be monsters in his closet.)
Me: Oh, then what?
Beau: I heard something fall.
Me: In your closet?
Beau: Yes.
Me: Well, what do you think it was?
Beau: Uh? My jacket?
Me:And you are worried about this?
Beau: No.
Me: Uh, okay. Beau?
Beau: Yes?
Me: Goodnight.
Beau: Parker eats turkey.


  1. I'm still giggling about "Parker eats turkey." We are having a lot of bedtime stalling over here too - mostly the bathroom and forgot to brush my teeth stalls.

  2. Parker eats turkey is the biggest joke now. He even says it when I am really pissed as a way to diffuse the situation.

    Neither Beau or Carmella are going to volunteer about brushing the teeth again. It is funny how cliche they are about the stalling. I mean don't all kids stall about bedtime at one point or another.