Friday, May 18, 2012

Tales from the Toddler Side

So I've been mulling over Ivy's transition from pahlah at bedtime to no pahlah at bedtime.

Oh, sorry.  Pahlah = pacifier in Ivy-ese.

It was around this time that Leif was transitioned from his pacifier, so on a whim, Wednesday night when Ivy asked for her pahlah, I said, "No more pahlah.  You're a big girl."  Of course, since I am a horrible mother, this induced a rather large, hearty cry from Ivy.  So I picked her up and held her while she cried, but I do try to be firm (pause here for possible ironic foreshadowing, please), which is most of the time rather easy with Ivy, because she's a practical girl at heart.  

Ivy's actually pretty amazing.  I mean, they all are, but we're talking about Ivy now.  Her practicality wars against her extremely determined sense of independence and knowing what she wants.  It's actually made her, so far, into a wonderfully challenging person to deal with, but fun and reasonable to work with at the same time.  

I see that I'm explaining myself with my usual muddy clarity.  You're welcome.

For example, she'll cry when not getting her way or getting into trouble, and then mid-cry, I'll ask her if she's done, and she'll stop and say, "Yes."  Then she'll get up to, most of the time, hug me, and say, "Sorry, Mommy," (if she's not decided to hold a grudge that time and therefore seek out Nana to tell her how cruel her mommy has been), and all is well.

So she has her cry out over her pahlah and her lost childhood and so forth, and then stops, gets down from my lap, lays on her pillow, and decides she wants her bear, who is normally bear non grata at bedtime since Ivy likes her space. (Isn't my Latin impressive?  Don't gush.  It's embarrassing.)  But then she gets up and decides she needs to go potty, which is what she usually does over and over each night until she gets too sleepy.

The problem this night is she doesn't gets sleepy.  The pahlah is apparently toddler-grade Ambien.  I mean, she's Ivy, so she's completely game to give up the pahlah to be a big girl now, but now she can't sleep.  She can't even get sleepy.  I figured she naps without it, so that wouldn't be an issue.  But I was wrong.  Very wrong.

Frustration met hilarity that evening.  Ivy's a good sport, and I'm feeling gracious and good-sporty, too, since I knew it would be a tough transition, and I feel for her.  Nana offers to rock her to sleep, which she agrees to for about half a minute.  But she's wired for sound without her pahlah, so then she's ready to visit me in my room.  She wants to lay in my bed.  I'm cool with that.  I figure it will last about a minute since she really, really does like her space, unlike Lily, who always opts to sleep with me if she can.  

Ivy likes her own bed.  

But we're in pahlah-free wonderland now, and everything is on its head.  She's up, she's down, she's bouncing round.  Now, two things that tend to work individually around here are, one, lying down with a spastic child so they can calm down, or, two, watching late TV a little (rare thing in these parts) to focus the kid, keep them still, so their sleepy brains take over their bodies.  So I decided to employ both, and since Ivy's such a good sleeper, we'll hang out, enjoy each other's company, and she'll eventually go to sleep, right?  RIGHT???


I'm laying on the bed next to her, and for a little bit we're watching The Sorcerer's Apprentice, because how could an action movie not do the trick?  I'm saavy that way.  But of course, Ivy lays down, she's up, she's gotta go potty, she's down, she's sitting on my belly bouncing and laughing hysterically, then she's smooshing her face onto my face saying, "I want to look at your EYE!"  What are you doing, Ivy?  "Looking at your FACE!"  Ivy, you can't see my face like that.  "YES, I CAN!  I want to go potty."

By this time, we're both laughing hysterically.  Good for a school/daycare night.

We're doing this till about 11 o'clock, by which time she's flopped down again and said for the 50th time that she has to go potty, to which I reply, "Fine.  Go.  I'm going to sleep."  

But then I turn to her, look her in the eye and say, "Ivy, do you want your pahlah?"  

To which she replies, "I want to get in my bed."  

"Okay, we'll try again in a month or two," I say as I tuck her in to her bed.  She's asleep in about a minute.

Did I lose this battle in the parenting war of attrition?  Not really.  Ivy was a completely good sport and wasn't trying to get her way.  She just didn't know what to do with herself, and I get that.  If my kids are throwing fits or crying, I do stand firm.  I tell them they can never get what they want by whining.  Never.  So if they're going to change my mind, they'll have to do it another way..

Which brings me to this thought:  

I mean, I always have known that Ivy is very clever.  But is it possible that she's really criminal mastermind?   An strategic genius perhaps?  

I'm beginning to think it's possible.

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