The Battle of Bedtime Is Joined


Why, he can't even hit you with a spoon yet!

The thing about almost-toddlers [Ed. note: holy smokes!] is that they are very independent, at least when compared to brand-new babies, like someone we know (pictured). Mr. Cuteypants there just lies still, thinking about (apparently) very surprising things, except when he’s spitting up.

Meanwhile, his diabolical cousin the Bean crawls, gets down from the sofa without too much incident, pulls up to standing on anything that will, uh, stand for it, and will stubbornly push your hands away from helping with anything that she’s doing.  She appears underfoot with amazing stealth. She gets from one side of the room to the other, tucking one leg under her like a hurdler (yes, Dad, I said it: HURDLER) faster than you can say “biscuit”. She also gets herself into weird predicaments like this:

mime training

Highly photogenic predicaments.

And then there is bedtime. Prior to New Year’s, putting Bean to bed was a simple matter of tucking her in, singing her a song, and letting her drift off. You could even lie her down semi-asleep and just leave her (we are lucky, I know).

Now, not so much.

A typical night of sleepytime fussing the glorious struggle against bedtime oppression goes like this:

1945: Occupying forces throw down toys, rub eyes. Guerillas watch warily from corners of living room: signs of sleepiness?

1948: Sleepiness confirmed: reliable witnesses report yawning. Operation Snoozles is go.

1952: Toys and related debris cleared from floors. Occupying forces detained for biological munitions (BM) inspection.

1958 – 2008: Hot-water decontamination. With rubber duckie.

2008 – 2028: Debriefing, consisting of two headings: whimsical (prose) and soothing (musical).

2030: Detainee bedded down with nice warm milk. Lights out.

2035: Wailing from cell block. Detainee found upright, disoriented, shaking bars. Signs of distress: flushed face, tears.

2036: Detainee bedded down with nice, slightly less-warm milk.

2037: Loud THUMP from cell block. Detainee found upright, in good spirits, having thrown milk onto carpet.

2038: Detainee bedded down with less-nice, tepid, frothy milk.

2042: Screech from cell block. Detainee discovered upright, shaking bars, trying to attract attention from/grab tail of nearby prisoner. Prisoner is known past associate of the detainee:

partners in crime

The feared baby-cat alliance could overwhelm us

Prisoner interrogated (“Who’s a bad kitty? Bad kitty in the baby’s room!”), moved out of high-sensitivity detention area.

2043: Detainee bedded down with stone-cold milk, very firmly tucked in.

2048: Hysterical wailing from cell block. Detainee found slumped against bars, gibbering. Jailer overwhelmed with guilt until detainee perks up, smiles upon realizing jailer has arrived. Jailer resolves not to be emotionally blackmailed.

2048: (con’t) Detainee bedded down with firm “Bedtime”. No milk offered.

2050: See 2048.

2053: See 2050.

2059, 2105, 2111, 2121, 2132: See 2053.

2137: Suspicious quiet in cell block. Upon inspection, detainee discovered asleep, peacefully snuggling toy lamb. Finally. Jailers celebrate by watching movie, and fall asleep halfway through.



    1. oooh, honestly, I don’t know about that Alice in Wonderland. Tim Burton’s output has just been so loud and boring the last few years. Mr Depp is a lot more fun when he’s not working with Burton.

  1. You are much more tuned in to these ‘things’ than I am…

    Absolutely loved your very thoughtful choices of photos of Chris ‘n Trev… right facing profiles (with glasses) holding Eve
    Continue to Enjoy!

  2. Why arenj’t you a worl faous writer Yet!!!
    Getting closer every day as our favorite person is fond of saying.
    The pictures ofr Trev and i were jsut wonderful.
    OOps getting Boston Cream Pie on the keys here… off to kick Joanie’s butt in Knock gin!

  3. You are one of the most amazing writers EVER! When am I finally going to have my hands on a book published by Rose Judson??!!!???!!!?

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