I thought maybe I had dreamt it. At 4am, I heard the door creak. Just one creak though, before the pitter pat down the moonlit path started. She came in quietly and asked if anyone was awake. I waited silently since she did not seem upset. “I forgot to tell Smart Cat good-night.” She whispered into the darkness.
“It’s ok. He’s ok. Now go back to bed sweetie.” I mumbled back and held my breath. And then, she did.
At 6am on the nose I heard the creak again and a tap-tap on the office door where I sat typing. “Momma, do you remember when I came to tell you about Smart Cat?”
“I do Zuzu. And then you went back to your big-girl bed and stayed in it all night. That’s one more sticker on your chart!”
“Well, actually, I got up at 5 to go potty too, but then I went back to bed and stayed until 6…”
“That’s good- you made a good choice. I’m proud of you little bug!”
It’s hard to stand tough. I almost caved last night. When Lovey was helping the Quail on the potty. A very tired Zuzu started to cry just a little bit about her having to sleep in her own bed. Then something miraculous occurred to her.
“Momma, will Daddy have to sleep somewhere else when your belly is so big it takes up the whole bed?”
“Um, I guess we’ll see if it gets that big.”
More snuffling tears. (From her, not me over my gi-normous belly. At least not yet.)
“How about you take your pillow from our bed and sleep with it tonight. It smells like Momma and Sugarplum. Maybe one of the blankets I’ve been cuddling…” (can you hear the avalanche starting?)
“And how about Lambie?”
“No, Sugarplum needs something to cuddle.”
“Ok, night-night baby.”
Fortunately, it was Lovey’s night for all things bedtime. He told me when he finished that she looked at her chart after they went in her room and smiled a little at the thought of her new sticker. That was some comfort after seeing her tears. Once again, we all slept until her entrance at 4am. That seemed to rouse the cat though who then remembered she needed to barf and play with the crinkly things under my side of the bed.
Guess I need to make that cat a chart now…
That was written 2 weeks ago. It’s officially been 2 weeks since we have asked her to sleep in her own bed for the whole night. And for the most part she has done it. There was one more middle of the night entrance into our room and she has consistently gotten up to go potty sometime between 5 and 6 am. And her sister has now started waking at 5:30 am hollering to be taken to the potty as well. And on the weekends the impossible length of time between 6 am and 7 am sends her into tears. Other than that, that, that and that. I’d call it a success.
Of course her first “super prize” she decided on was a Valentine item. I worried on that. I wanted to not let her have it before the full two weeks were up, knowing her penchant for future negotiations. But judging by the heart-ie cuteness of this pink bear I worried equally hard that it might be gone and create a very defeated feeling 5-year-old at the end of two weeks. So we compromised again. We bought the bear during our next market run with the understanding it was to live in Momma’s car until she hit that 14th sticker. She did it! And we are mighty proud.
It isn’t without tears, on any of our parts, or seamless; like just this morning, the Quail hollered her “ooo-ooo” warning of impending poos at 5:30 on the nose. And since the last few poos have left me wondering what crawled up there and died, I felt the need to respond quickly rather than risk the need for a full crib cleaning later today. My entrance into their room before 6 am though, of course resulted in a time report from a wide-awake Zuzu. Which was quickly followed by a speech about the need for her to go potty as well along with a lengthy dissertation on all the reasons she likes Momma & Daddy’s potty since the room smells like Momma, Daddy and Sugarplum, which was then followed by an inquisition as to whether the Quail would be returning to her nest for the next 15 minutes. At which point I felt the odds of anyone actually resting were long gone and made the ill-fated choice to allow everyone full-house access prior to 6am. Ill-fated indeed. And a bit reminiscent of the birthday whining from a couple of weeks ago. There was an argument over who cleans up the legos, the dropping of a very heavy book about cats on an unsocked toe. A much-too-lengthy discussion over who should get the ice-pack and who needs to go to time-out for hollering “NO” so vehemently at Momma’s requests for help before 6am. And a final decision to not award the sticker for today’s rising.
In the end Momma needed a time-out and two Tylenol herself in order to regain her morning composure before the day had even really started. As soon as I get a minute to myself I think I’m going to back and reread my oh-so-wise warning about not ruminating on the cranks.
In the meantime, let me just suggest for your own self-preservation that you think long and hard about your status as a morning person before accepting any well-intended invitations to stay in our nest. We’re an early flock here.