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:
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.
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:
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.