Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Was Closing My Eyes

Paige, our 3 1/2 year old, is a lot like me. She loves her sleep and looks forward to nap and bed time each day. A short nap for her is anything under 2 hours and my guess is that she'll nap every day until she starts 1st grade. She's been known to find her green blankie and her "nukie" (pacifier) and come to me and say, "I'm tired. Can I take my happy nappy?"

Paige is WAY too old to have a nukie. But she's the baby and she somehow manages to get away with things the other kids never could. Curt's response to her nukie? "Everyone has a vice. Let her have it forever for all I care." But it bugged me, so mid-summer Paige and I had a chat. She told me that she would get rid of her nukies "when school starts." She thought it would be wasteful to throw them away, so she opted instead to "give them to Baby Sammy." I cleared this idea with Baby Sammy's mom and waited for the first day of school.

Last week, in preparation for the first day of school, we made up a "Bye Bye Nukie" song that I recorded Paige singing. She giggled as she saw herself on the computer and seemed genuinely excited to say bye bye to her nukies. On Tuesday, Paige happily bagged up all her nukies (including her car nukie) and sealed them in a ziplock baggie. We went to Baby Sammy's house and since he was sleeping, his Mommy received Paige's care package with great enthusiasm. She even traded Paige's nukies for some big girl toys which of course Paige thought was great.

We left Sammy's house all smiles and with no tears so I optimistically thought we'd have smooth sailing. However, the second we walked in the door and Paige realized it was nap time, she started crying, "I want my Nukie. I don't want to give them to Baby Sammy. He doesn't want the pink ones." It took her a while to fall asleep and nap and bed time for the remainder of the week have been much more challenging than normal.

Paige, who "is not tired" has been trying every tactic to stay awake and avoid going to bed without her nukie. I've been inwardly giggling at all her antics. "I'm not tired. I need a drink. I want to play puzzles. I want you to read me a story. I want to read me a story. Don't touch me. You're squishing me. Don't touch my blanket. I want to play kitchen. Don't leave me. Don't touch me. Stop taking my stuff. Get off my pillow. That's MY pillow. Don't go. Lay by me for FIVE minutes..." And on and on. One minute she's trying her hardest to be firm and sassy, the next she's dissolving in giggles or needing lots of physical touch to stop crying.

This afternoon was no exception. She was tired and cranky but informed me that "I'm not tired." She went through the gauntlet of stalling but finally decided it wasn't worth it and out of nowhere, laid down next to me (on her "nest on the floor" not her bed), grabbed her blankie and snuggled right up so that her cheek was touching my arm. She instantly started breathing heavy and I started counting. Every second a puff of hot, exhaled air kissed my arm. Two minutes later, when I was sure she was asleep, my arm was damp from her breath and I was madly in love. I snuck out of her room and took my own happy nappy.

She just stumbled out of her room, three and a half hours from when she fell asleep, ginormous smile plastered on her face. She happily broadcast to me how obedient she was by saying, "Mom, I was closing my eyes."

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