Bedtime Hypothesis

Thriday has arrived yet again and the ladies of the house greeted the day with a shared bagel and cantaloupe. I finally had the wherewithal to put together my sandwich last night when I made up her lunch. I was able to sit with her for breakfast this morning and not simply shovel Cheerios down my gullet between lunch making, breakfast clean up, dishwasher emptying, and other evil morning tasks. It was refreshing, refreshing enough for me to do it more often. She hid behind her hands and smiled at me with her whole self and when her bagel proved to be a bit too chewy and I made her cinnamon toast instead, she shared it with me. She’d hand me a piece, I’d bite off a tiny bit, and deposit the rest in her mouth – piranha style chomping with giggles of course.

“Ah dawn” “Dooowwwwwwn” “eeeeeeessse”

and with that we were off to work.

The freshness ceased yesterday, even though Wednesdays are the only day she and Sonny/Hannah have in common. All reports indicated that she was behaved and her regular good girl self.

I finally caught up with my parents last night and chatted for a bit with my mother about Caroline’s very fresh day and the potty. She said that I was potty trained early and that I was probably training at about this time. Since my little lady appears to be taking after me in quite a few areas, it was good to hear, makes me feel a little better about taking these momentous steps. My mother loves that Caroline is my little shadow; apparently I too emulated my Mommy. She just loves helping and all the praise that goes with it. Even in the midst of a total tearful breakdown I can hand her a cloth and spray some Antibacterial Spray and she is suddenly smiling. She wipes the dishwasher, her table, her chair, and the stove. Her favorite cleaning tools are the Swiffer, the vacuum (which you absolutely must let her push), and the Swiffer duster. If her bib falls off mid meal she tries to put it back on and when she’s finished she takes it and puts it into the handy dandy bib bag I made in the kitchen. (I should post the details of that – it’s ingenious and easy and I don’t know how I lived without it!) She takes such excellent care of all her babies; feeding them from the bottle, patting their backs, shhing, kissing them – although she also bites them, throws them on the ground with all her might and smothers them with blankets. Before we consider bringing another baby into this house, I think we need to clarify exactly what a good mommy does to take care of her babies.

I’ve been allowing Caroline to brush my teeth when we brush hers before bed. She brushes the front teeth as I say “cheese” and then inevitably she says “ahhh” to get me to open my mouth before sticking the toothbrush directly to the back of my throat gagging me. This is apparently HYSTERICAL. Where did she learn the “ahhh?” am I doing in without realizing it?

(SPEAKING OF TEETH – she is getting her fourth bottom tooth and a bottom molar!)

One more thing worth noting from this week is that we seem to have entered new territory in the falling asleep department. We’ve had pretty much the same bedtime routine since she was a baby; bath, books, bed. After the last book is read, we turn out the light and snuggle for a few minutes. Sometimes I make up a silly song about her day or simply tell her what a great day tomorrow will be. Lately she sort of indicates that she is ready to head to her room by repositioning herself and moving away from me. Steve kisses her on the forehead and I put her to bed, with little fanfare and usually a short soft backrub and kiss. It seems like this entire week she has been up for an hour or more past this, standing up in her crib, tossing every stuffed creature out, and eventually howling. We are firmly planted in the “settle yourself down” camp at this point, but as the clock approaches 9pm and she’s been in bed since before 8, we can’t help but wonder what gives? So when I do eventually collapse beneath the pressure of continued cries from upstairs I find a little girl who WANTS to lay down, who DOESN’T want to snuggle, who generally just needs to be calmed down a few moments at which time she points to her crib, reaching for her blanket. If I leave then, as I have in the past, the cries continue. So I have a hypothesis that this is a new separation anxiety thing. Last night I just went back in, rubbed her back, touched her hair gently, told her that it was ok to go to bed, that I would see her in the morning. I stayed for perhaps all of three minutes, but it seemed that those three minutes of reassurance, coupled with exhaustion, lulled her to a sense of safety that brought sleep quickly. Is this common? Are other toddlers who have never been wary of nighttime separation suddenly and without reason doing this?


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