Most of the time, Ayden is calm and happy. He is the king of negotiations and I think I see a rediculous lawyer like tendancy to ferret out the miniscule divisions in a statement and neutralize the reasons behind the guidelines I set forth, and talk hard and fast to get me to compromise. "Hey mommy, I have a great idea! How about I could have a cookie?" "No, not a good idea." "Why?" "It's too close to suppertime." "Why does that mean I can't have a cookie?" "Because it will fill up your tummy with junk food and you won't be hungry for your healthy supper." "Well, if I have one of those small cookies that are animal shapes, that won't fill my tummy because my tummy is this big." And he holds up his closed fist, which is what we taught him the size of his stomach is while he was reading his latest book on the human body. "Well, if you have just one." Because this seems reasonable. "How about if I have four?" "NO! ONE!!" "Two?" "YOU'RE PUSHING THE ENVELOPE BECAUSE ONE WAS MORE THAN I WANTED YOU TO HAVE" "One and a half?"
This week he has developed a bedtime aversion. Truly at the heart of the matter is the fact that he does not want to go to bed, and wants to control this, but he has worked himself up into a fear of the semi darkness, sea monsters, closet monsters (I've tried vaccuuming them up, telling him his stuffed shark will eat the monsters if they try to come in his room, and turning on the 'magic fan' that is loud and too scary for monsters, all to no avail), and has spent the past three or four nights screaming his head off for 1 to 2 hours at bedtime every night. So of course Matthew is sleep deprived too. The night before last we worked out a system where I leave but come to check on him every ten minutes. Now, the whole time he's yelling "Has it been ten minutes yet?? You are taking too long!! Mommy, it is ten minutes now, you have to come!!" But he stayed in bed and eventually fell asleep. Last night I tried the ten minute intervals again, but he was hysterical before I even left the room. Like, SCREAMING. It was 9 o'clock and he really needs to go to sleep by 8 if I want him to be normal the next day, and here he is frieking out. Poor Matthew was lying in the bottom bunk, big black eyes looking at me like, 'don't leave me with this psycho!' And every time I went in for a ten minute check, he wanted something different from me, a cuddle, for me to sleep with him all night in his bunk bed, some water, my thumb, for me NOT TO GO!!!!!, a 'break' from going to sleep, etc. I had to clean the bathrooms and do an exercise video before my bedtime (Brent is out of town so I'm stuck with videos if I want exercise) which was fast approaching, so I was going in for quick visits. At one point I was doing my excercises and the lady who narrates my video is saying "balance comes from a quiet mind and attention to your inner sanctitude," while Ayden is screaming from upstairs, "BUT MOMMY I LOVE YOU AND I LIKE YOU AND I JUST WANT TO CUDDLE YOU BECAUSE I LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE SO NICE AND SOFT AND I DON'T WANT TO GO TO BED NOW AND I'M SCARED OF MONSTERS MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY THERE ARE MONSTERS IN MY ROOM RIGHT NOW MOMMY I JUST LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" He knows me so well. All I want to do is run upstairs and cuddle him because he's so sweet and soft and he loves me and I love him and really, he is scared....but I didn't...what held me back was that if I went up there at that point, every night from now until he is eighteen he will be pulling out the same rhetoric because it worked that one time. I just yelled that I loved him back but he still had to stay in bed and go to sleep.
Eventually he got up so many times that he lost his bunk bed priveledges and spent the night on the floor on the itchy rug that he hates. I think he tired out and fell asleep around 10. I wish I had tape recorded it so I can play it back for him when he's a father and he can apologize to me. :-) I may change his name to "Guiltmeister" one of these days.