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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

the unholy ritual

the evil sweet, sweet child of mine

it begins at approximately 8pm every night. the conditions must be perfect, the timing precise, the planets aligned... well, ok, that might be going a bit too far... but not by much.

what i am referring to is the unholy ritual of getting my youngest child to sleep every night. this child, i believe, is my punishment for all those i times i bragged about my boys and how easy it was to get them to bed. a little snack, a bath, a story, and off they would go, without a single objection. i lived this heavenly existence, shaking my head at those harried-looking mothers who complained of late nights and whiny children, thinking that their troubles were simply due to a dreadful lack of structure and routine. ignorance is bliss. 

then #3 made her appearance. while i won't lay the blame completely on her {partly because i fear her wrath}, she truly is the most stubborn, hard-headed of my brood. below, you will find a step-by-step breakdown of what i go through on an average night for the little tyrant angel.

god help me if i so much as THINK about starting this nightly ritual without the appearance of at least 3 "big ones". of course, i am referring to yawns. and not just any regular yawn. it has to be one of those total body, stretching her mouth so wide i fear for her jaw kind of yawns. with the first one, stealthy preparations must be made. lights slowly turned off, music gradually muted, tv volume lowered precisely 3 notches. at this point, it is of utmost importance that she be unaware of the preparations, and it's best to pretend to be busy with something, so that she thinks that yawn went entirely unnoticed.
after the second yawn, it is merely a waiting game. again, i must make sure not to let on that i know that she is tired. because if she knows that i know, there is no hope for a peaceful ritual and this poses a significant risk to my sanity. 
the third "big one", the most challenging. not only must i pretend not to know that she is tired while at the same time sneak about with blankies and "bee-bees" and "cuppy", i must also contain my excitement over the impending break from the iron grips of cruel tyranny mommyhood. no theatrics, no jumping up and down {as much as i want to!!}, no tears of joy if i can help it.  

before i get into this, grab some fucking duct tape and put it over your mouth. i know i might not going about this the "proper" way {whatever the fuck that is}, but it works. kind of. plus, i'm resistant to change, as is my little girl. and we don't want to anger her. please PLEASE don't anger her. ok, is everyone sufficiently gagged and restrained? alright. 
my daughter will not fall asleep in her room. at least not without much screaming and attempts at summoning the fires of hell itself. and i'd rather not have to subject myself, let alone my sons, to that high-pitched, head-splitting devil's scream. additionally, my next door neighbour is an old lady, and i have no desire to shorten her lifespan any more than necessary.
anywho, back to subject at hand. she will not fall asleep in her room. therefore, the couch must be made up nice and comfy for her. then, her cuppy must be filled with ice water and set in an inconspicuous, yet accessible area and her movie collection must be located. her current go to bed faves are rio, alvin and the chipmunks, and fern gully. 

within a few minutes of the third "big one", it's time to make my move. i scoop her up, turn on the dvd player, hit play, and then lay her down. while  changing her diaper, i nonchalantly pass her the cuppy. next, the blankies. there is always 2. always. one for her body, which she prefers to have tucked in under her arms and over one shoulder. even if the first does indeed cover her toes, i must take the second one and lay it over her legs. a kiss on the forehead, and i must make myself scarce. at this point, is it extremely tempting to go to my room and into bed. i have found that giving in to this temptation almost always proves catastrophic. so, i must silently slip out of the living room and into the kitchen, without making too much noise and staying in her peripheral vision at all times. once in the kitchen, i must stay by the island {thankfully, it has an outlet to plug my laptop into}, and stand there. i am not permitted to move from my post until i am absolutely certain that she is asleep. it is at this point, that the entire ritual is in jeopardy. any deviation, however slight, will cause her to leap from the couch and continue her rampage. at which point, the entire ritual must begin again, from the start. ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE YAWN-WATCHING.

there are times when the ritual doesn't proceed as smoothly as i would like, yet has not deviated from the beaten path enough to require a complete do-over. swift action on my part is still required, however, because there is still danger of upsetting the delicate balance enough to warrant a do-over. additionally, these "emergency measures" must also be implemented, without delay, when she is sick or in any kind of discomfort. these additional steps proceed as follows: restart movie. locate feet, place them in my lap. gently rub bottom of each foot simultaneously, without breaking rhythm. when the devil baby has been motionless for several minutes and her eyes have a slightly glazed, zombie-like appearance, foot rubs may stop. however, DO NOT remove hands from feet. if, once the foot-rub has stopped, she begins to fidget or stretch, rubbing must resume IMMEDIATELY.  if she remains motionless, hands should remain where they are and pressure should be constant. only once her eyes have been closed for at least 5 minutes, should any attempt at hand-removal be made. at this point, the temptation of going straight to bed makes a comeback. however, this must be avoided at all costs. remain seated for another 5 minutes. at the end of this time, if she has still not stirred, SLOWLY stand and back away silently, like a ninja.
it should be noted at this time that foot-rubs may also be replaced by back-rubs; however, the feet must still be placed in my lap for the duration of this portion of the ritual. 

and there you have it. this is the unholy ritual that dominates my life every evening. strangely, all of these retarded completely reasonable requirements are not necessary for nap time. all that's needed for nap time is complete silence, cuppy, and bee-bee the doll. 

right now, you may be tempted to offer advice or perhaps refer me to a skilled exorcist. please refrain from doing so, lest we anger the beast since i really don't mind this little bit of quality snuggly time with my darling little girl.



  1. No Advice.
    My son went through a similar ritual.
    He used to fall ASLEEP on my ALL THE TIME.
    I loved it.
    She's still in a diaper, she's still technically a BABY... SO rock on SISTER!

    You'll both know when this ritual doesn't work anymore.

    Please tell #3 not to shoot death rays at me.. I swear I'm on her side too!

  2. yes!! that's what i tell people too, she's still a baby. lol
    she has always been different than my sons. when i always said i would never have them sleep in bed with me because everyone says it's so hard to get them out, well she slept with me for her first year. and my friends have gotten used to the fact that i can't have company between 8 and 10 because her highness owns the livingroom until she is asleep. one step i left out was THE TRANSFER, during which she must be scooped up and taken to her bed. but it usually passes without incident.

  3. When you try everything and hit on something that works.. don't change it... it is worth the peace it gives you no matter how labor intensive it is. With me it was my first... he was a nightmare. I finally let him fall asleep every night in his swing, with socks covering his hands because he would scratch the hell out of himself fighting not to go to sleep