Okay, so tonight BioMom was away for the second in a row during the dreaded Bedtime-For-Two-Extremely-Different-Aged-With-Extremely-Different-Needs Happy Hour and I experienced first hand how the SYO is not my genetic offspring. For any of you out there that know BioMom, I think you'll recognize the following behavior.
I don't mean to be crabbing here, or preaching to the choir. I know there are other people, with more kids, and spouses that travel, so please take my tapped-outtedness with a grain of salt.
So, anyway, the way I handle the awkward bedtime hour in which the SYO goes to bed at 7:30 and Big follows at 8:00ish when I am alone is to create a 'pillow nest' on the floor at the bottom of our bed where Big can crawl around and not get into too much trouble, and the SYO can read US a story. Brilliant, huh? [patting self on back]. I can't exactly read her Harriet the Spy* and have Big digging around under the bathroom sink at this point, so this is a nice compromise.
It gets more complicated as we move more deeply into the bedtime routine which, when conducted by two or more adults, usually ends with five minutes of talking and some singing in her bed.
With one adult, and an exhausted Big, this is all but impossible, and certainly not calming to the hopefully about-to-be-asleep SYO. Big is squirmy and loud, and refuses to cooperate.
Tonight, I thought I had a great plan. Instead of five minutes and singing, and because Big had just "number two'd" in his pants, I would let her use my special reading light (this had never, thus far, been made available to her despite many pleadings) to read in our bed, her own book, for five minutes, and then fall asleep from there while I give Big a bath.
It would have been, had I been the SYO.
Had I been the SYO, I would have relished the opportunity to read for 10, 15, 20 minutes or more as the adult figure would have certainly forgotten about quiet me (or assumed that I had fallen asleep). What a boon!
Not our SYO.
Not three minutes had gone by. I had just glommed a fistfull of Johnson and Johnson's no tears baby soap into his hair when I hear from the top of the stairs:
I'm done with my book!
I think to myself, you silly! I would never have known if you read for 15 minutes and you haven't even used up your five! For that, it's over!
Okay! Turn out the light and go to bed!
Because it's bed time.
But I want you to come and sing to me.
I can't right now. I will do that later after I am done with [Big]'s bath.
I can't leave him right now in the water. You'll have to lie down yourself and go to sleep until I can come up there.
NO! I'm coming down!
No you're not. It is time for bed!
It is 7:30. Time for bed!
I'm coming down.
No. If you come down, I will not come and sing to you at all. got it?
A few moments pass. And then this, from a girl who regularly takes, uses, discards, loses stuff that is not hers.
But, what should I do with the light?
Me, exhasperated: Just lay it down next to you... IN BED!!!
I'll put it here. On the dresser. Is that okay?
*BTW, has anyone read this as an adult? She is completely fat-phobic and entirely negative. I was really surprised!