Lounging on the couch, bonding and relaxing, Alexa and Gideon seemingly have their eyes glazed over as if nothing was in their minds. The reality is that they are devising their own distinct strategies to overcome the next challenge of the day: bedtime.
Alexa's day was long today, as it was Lucia's Baby Presentation (sort of like a Christening) at church. In the morning, Alexa had to get a teething and irritated Lucia in her precious black and white Guess? dress, which by the way we found in Bloomingdale's for $14 on Friday. What a bargain huh?
Then, there was cake, juice, and coffee to be distributed after the morning service to hungry church congregants. After that - a brunch to go to with a large family of 18 people.
It all worked out, but Alexa was exhausted.
Gideon also had a long day. Because his sister was the baby of the day, he had the "fortune" (notice the quotation marks inferring sarcasm) of having Daddy pick out his clothes and dress him up. Then, when he was in church, he was rudely taken away from all the fun of children's church, where he's in the presence of toys galore, so that he can go upstairs to witness his little sister being the star of the show. Then, because we were all at brunch until about 3pm, he had a late nap, which he was not happy about at all.
Laying on their backs in the living room, Gideon's head resting on Alexa, they both know that the time is fast approaching. For Alexa, it means that she can finally sleep. For Gideon, there is a different meaning. Basically, he is thinking in his head "Oh No! It's time to go to bed! What can I do to distract my parents today?"
Gideon knows the routine. We read books before going to bed. One of his favorite books right now is Dinosaur vs. Bedtime.
I think he likes the story because he can relate to the little dinosaur who roared and conquered all of his challengers, a pile of leaves, a bowl a spaghetti, and toothbrushing, among other opponents. But Dinosaur's nemesis, bedtime, always wins. And, Gideon knows this because we've read the book dozens of times.
We pick up the book and begin to read. We continue and we all laugh and have a grand ole time. Gideon knows that the last several pages of the book describe how dinosaur always loses to bedtime. So, what does Gideon do? He exclaims "No, No" when we approach the end of the book. He literally tries to turn the pages back or forcefully take the book out of our hands. He's a strong kid, but he doesn't succeed. Sometimes he buys time by pointing to another, less interesting book that has suddenly grabbed his attention so much, that it becomes imperative that we pick it up and read it to him at once. But, this only works 50% of the time.
Eventually, we finish reading the book where it becomes clear to all of us that once again bedtime is the victor. Gideon can't believe it so he denies it by whining, as if to say, "let's start again, I'm sure the ending will be different next time."
As a united front, Alexa and I work together to gather some of his bears and stuffed toys that will accompany him to bed and then do our prayer, bid him good night and sweet dreams, and walk out. This is where the cries begin, the screeching, the yelling, the singing, the toy playing ... a lot like dinosaur when he's roaring. Finally, sleepiness takes over and bedtime wins, sometimes more than an hour later ... but Gideon's fast asleep.
After that, it doesn't take Alexa more than 5 minutes to fall asleep, since sleep is her friend and she wishes not to argue with it ... oh and as Lucia is already in her third dream of the night.
Now it's my turn. Good night.