Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bedtime for a three-year-old

a.k.a. Mommy wants alone time - a short play

Scene opens with a three-year-old wrapped up in a fleece blanket standing off-stage in the hallway. The mother is standing in the doorway of the three-year-old’s room.

MOTHER: (firmly) You need to sleep in your bed tonight.

Mother tightly shuts the door across the hall, walks into the toddler’s bedroom, and turns on the light. A room littered with stuffed animals and books as well as a full-sized bed greets the mother. The dejected toddler follows the mother into the room. Crawls into her bed and watches as her mother walks across the room to turn the light off.

CHILD: I want the light on Mommy (child is crying, sobbing, voice wavering through gasping sobs)

MOTHER: I want the light on mommy – what?

CHILD: I want the light on please (still crying).

MOTHER: (Obliges the request and returns to the bed picking-up books that are scattered across the floor as she walks.) Do you want some books? Here’s one. (Hands child one of the books.)

CHILD: N-O-O-O-O-O-O-O Books!

MOTHER: (Keep putting books on the bed.) Here’s another, and –oooh- look, a princess book. Now, let me give you a hug and a kiss.

Grab child ignore her crying and proceed to smother her with hugs and kisses and a few tickles for good measure. Hug one last time then leave the room. Walk down hall to older child who knows the routine and gladly accepts reading time alone, hugs and kisses.

SUCCESS! Go upstairs to your office / sewing room and enjoy alone time. As soon as you are settled into your chair you hear noises from below. The three-year-old is shaking the baby gate in the hallway. Now she leans against it.

CHILD: (softly, sleepily whines from off-stage) “I want mommy.”

SISTER: (also off-stage) Come here my baby.

The three-year-old is heard shuffling into her sister’s room and climbing onto her sister’s bed.

SISTER: There, there. Everything’s going to be alright.

CHILD: whimpers a bit to elicit more coddling.

There is some brief talking then silence.

Okay – silence until about 11 pm when the three-year-old then wakes up with her usual night terrors and the older sister is still acting like a good mother and trying to reassure her that everything is okay. Of course, by now you feel guilty for leaving your younger child in bed with your older child so you take the three-year-old to your bed – exactly where you were trying to not have her sleep in the first place. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow night.


Reluctant Housewife said...

We have a very similar scene here at bedtime... except my 3 year old is a boy so no princess books. Last night, he fell asleep in our bed, we moved him into his own & he stayed all night. Yay!

My kids have never had night terrors. I imagine they're scary. Although I've read that the child doesn't remember them?

tyketto said...

Congrats on having your son sleep in his own bed. Ironically, my parents were here for a week while my husband was out of town. My mom slept in the same bed as my little one and ever since - she has stayed in her bed. Yippee!


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