I just locked Pearl in her room.
I want to come get you.
I want to snuggle you.
I know if I came to get you and snuggled in your bed, you’d be asleep faster than you can say “I want another snack.”
But if I do that this time, I will just be reinforcing this cycle.
The cycle goes like this:
Brush teeth, jamazon, readabook, lights out, I snuggle with Pearl and Greg usually starts out with V. Pearl goes through a couple of versions of fussing at me – the last gasp of the day – and then konks out.
Tonight, Greg – the birthday boy, I might add – is out with some menfolk.
So we never even made it to snuggling. She wasn’t even fussing particularly, just singing at the top of her lungs while I rubbed V’s back: “I’m brother Sam. I’m brother Sam. I’m brother SAAAAAAAAAAM!!”
I offered a few times to rub her back, too. She just kept being a monkey. Mind you, if she wants to stay up all night singing and being a big brother, that is not a problem for me, as long as “staying up” is operative.
But stay up she didn’t. She came down. And down again. I carried her gently but firmly back up to her room. And the third time, I closed the door. Then I locked it. Aviva looked at me incredulously; the one time we ever locked her door, she screamed with such terror in her voice that I immediately opened it and went to her. I felt her trauma. I felt like she was reliving a past life experience of being trapped in a burning building, or something equally horrific to imagine. It was a low point. We processed it for days and vowed we’d never lock doors again in this house.
Pearl is a different kid. She laughs at me sometimes when I sound serious or what Aviva would have – at three – perceived as scary. She is so bold, defiant.
I love this about her.
Except when it is 8:45pm, and she didn’t nap today (“She’ll go down easy,” I said cockily to Greg this afternoon).
The fact that I wrote a Facebook update half hour ago that said, “Bedtime + three-year old = crazy mama” prompted this post. Why am I chronicling our bedtime saga to the world? What is this all about? Am I addicted to sharing my experience in real time? Have I forgotten how to move through my experience in a way that is not broadcast live, with instantaneous developments that nobody really needs to even hear about?
It is quiet upstairs. I’m sorry, Pearlie. Please don’t remember this night. Please let all of the kisses and snuggles and quick, loving responses override times like this, when mama hits her wall and has to reach deep down inside to not lose her shit at you.
See, there I go, writing in the third person.
Facebook, three-year old, bedtime, mama, and a blog. I’ll choose to think of this as a strainer, where I can pour the difficult moments in, shake them all around, and let some pure juices run out the bottom, some liquid love, leaving all the chokeable objects behind until tomorrow, when we can try again.