Upon spending yet another hour and a half putting Tot to bed, I had plenty of time while pretending to be asleep beside her listening to her sing and feeling her fidget, to come up with an ingenius device for putting toddlers to bed QUICKLY.
As background to my creation, here is my usual routine every night lately, since Mr.Tot is ready to behead himself with his cluster headache that has not subsided substantially and indeed brings him to the brink of the going to the ER a few times a day despite the fact we know this is a uselss endeavor since we are frequent fliers there (can you tell I’m going for the longest run-on sentence you’ve ever read?): have Tot say her goodnights to whoever is present, have Tot brush her teeth, change her diaper, put on her jammies, read about 3 books, say our prayers (this much can take between 10 minutes and 25 minutes depending on level of cooperation and length of stories), then the fun begins….
She usually insists I stay with her in bed, but occasionally insists I leave, which only lasts about 3 minutes until she screams for me to come back. And lest ye think she will tire of screaming, the napping fiasco never did work – when I left in her room, that girl can scream for the better part of an hour for days, nay weeks, on end. Nanny 911 rules be damned. And when Mr.Tot cringes at sounds half that volume, I figure I better leave him what little sanity he has left. Sooooo, I snuggle with her. For a while, I was able to leave with the excuse that I was getting her water, or closing a window, and *forget* to come back until she complained, and often she fell asleep before she realized I wasn’t coming back. A rather ingenius ploy on my part and one that saved my evening more times than I can count. However.
Lately? Lately, I have had to be present and molested for the better part of an hour to an hour and a half until she falls asleep. And when I say molested, I mean violently snuggled nearly to the point of black eyes, or fat lips, or concussions…. all in the name of love. Now, I love my daughter. And, in concept, I consider putting her to bed a privilege. She’s adorable (can you resist that face? uhh, the one without the hotdog mouth…), incredibly verbal for a 28 month old speaking in paragraphs and even pages and therefore highly, and I do mean HIGHLY, entertaining.
However, I also value my precious little Tot-free time. Sooo, I pretend to sleep while she pitches around on the bed, sometimes on top of me, sometimes beside me, sometimes on the floor, but I persist in my charade, though frequently, it ceases to be a charade. When I awake, I do recon. If she hasn’t moved in a few minutes, it’s a good indication that she’s out cold, but not definitive. I make my move — I ever so slightly start edging off the bed, which is an under-inflated air mattress on the ground. More often than not, she has seen my thought bubble as it’s forming, and cuts me off at the pass. “MOMMY, STAY!!!” I sink back on the bed. Repeat this about 10 more times, until finally when I move, there’s no outcry. Occasionally she has a delayed reaction and just as I’m lifting my leg to escape over the child gate, comes that dreaded protest. When at last I manage to escape her room unnoticed, I have to navigate the squeaky floor by hugging the wall and slithering down the stairs. Silly, you say? Ridiculous, you exclaim? YOU try putting her to bed.
I have tried warm milk, camomile herbal tea, music, holding her firmly, putting her to bed later, putting her to bed earlier, etc. None of those does squat. Driving her around in the car after 7:30pm usually does wonders. So, here’s my proposal. Craftmatic and Tempur-pedic, listen up! I can make you a fortune, even after you pay royalties to me for the idea. Make a toddler size bed in Temperpedic foam in an adjustable bendy configuration like Craftmatic’s with the full complement of massage, vibration, and heat options with a few extra options incorporated…. A five point restraining system is absolutely essential. Tot on the loose is a Tot awake. Also needed are white noise, music and a few timer controls to control the length of time each of the options are employed PLUS a timer for ramping down all of the options. Because you KNOW if it all stops abruptly, that kid is going to sense the jig is up, and then, the JIG is UP!!! And who knows what vibrating her all night long would do to her. The temperpedic part of this contraption would enable parents of Tot-wannabes to snuggle with their child for a few minutes and make their escape without spilling their glass of wine, I mean, without waking the child. The Craftmatic/ seat belt/ vibration/ white noise part would simulate the driving experience of a Tot happily tied down, uhh, restrained. And if that isn’t enough, you just add a little heat, oh and maybe a little padded gong coming down from above to knock them out. Did I say that? Whatever options you have used can all fade to zero and they wake up in a seemingly normal, flat, unrestrained bed. The various pieces of the seat belt hook off to the sides so the buckle and straps aren’t lumpy or able to strangle the sleeping babe.
Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? And all this bliss and serenity can be yours for the low LOW price of $4995. Not $49.95, $4,995.00. But if you are the parent of a beloved Avoid-sleep-at-all-costs-Totmeister, you would gladly pay twice that for this absolutely essential product. Too bad Billy Mays is not around to hawk it…
And just think how much fun you can have with strapping the dog into it… OhhhHHHH, Bergylsnorpe!!!! (Yes, I know this is Barkylthorpe, but Bergy wouldn’t sit in the carseat, rebel that he is.) Thunderstorms. That’s it. I’m am totally getting one of these. Enough freaking out every time it thunders, Bergy – you are getting the combo padded room/straight jacket treatment. As long as they don’t happen at bedtime-for-Tots pm. She gets priority. Or maybe you can share.
I should probably order one in a full size bed for me, and those like me who tend to lock ourselves in the closet at 2am… beat up Mr.Tot at 3:30am, and climb the walls at 5. I have a very full schedule at night. It’s not easy being me. As an update to my sleep chronicles. The doctor does want me to get a CPAP machine (help me breathe deeply, Ohmmm) BUT FIRST, I have to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist…. Round and round she goes, where she’ll stop, nobody knows…
Hmm, or instead of spending five thousand dollars and years in development, we could just use duct tape to restrain everybody…