Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Parenting Coup

The almost 3 year old was in rare form tonight - he really didn't feel the need to go along with any of the suggestions Dave or I proposed, regardless of how forcefully our ideas were suggested, or repetition of same. With that in mind, it was determined by our council of two that bedtime draweth nigh much earlier than it might on other evenings. Armed with the promise of Bob the Builder, I took a rare turn at putting the almost 3 year old to bed. Fulfilling my promise of Bob the Builder wasn't so difficult from a tactical standpoint, but strategically...this is a plan I will not be employing in the future. Bob the Builder is excruciatingly long. To be exact, this particular Bob the Builder video is one soul-sucking hour long. I no longer care if Bob can fix it, build it, or fold it in half and stick it in his toolbelt. Following the much awaited (by me) conclusion of the epic saga of Bob the Builder, the almost 3 year old determined that he was not yet ready to sleep. He asked for a particular song, which I delivered. He seemed ready for sleep...then...he found his Sheriff Woody (Toy Story, for the uninitiated). Sheriff Woody was waiting for a solo flight around my head, it seems. I remained quiet for the first couple of trips, gritting my teeth and reminding myself that this was only a ploy to get me off the topic of sleep. Sheriff Woody isn't gifted with graceful flight - the third pass may require a visit to the ENT, and the fourth pass basically grazed my brain (that's for you, Brian). In a moment of stunning clarity, illuminated by the streaks of light behind my eyes, I did not express my frustration to the almost 3 year old. Instead, I chewed out Sheriff Woody. "Sheriff Woody!" I said, mustering all of my mommy authoritative voice (at some point will I not feel like I'm playing mommy on TV?) "It's time for bed! You are keeping me and almost 3 year old awake! If you can't stop flying and go to sleep, you are going to time out this instant!" What do you worked. Almost 3 year old scolded Sheriff Woody for his antics, and sleep arrived a mere 5 minutes later. Bliss.

It's kind of funny - all day I work with adults, and a lot of them are pretty sharp. When I'm able to persuade an unwilling party over to my side, or convince two people to let go of each other's throats, or talk a stressed out colleague back in from the ledge, I sometimes feel like it was just dumb luck. On days like today, when things go particularly and spectacularly well, a part of me expects to see a group of people who strongly resemble the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes Prize Team congregating at my office door...but instead of handing me a giant check, they hold up a sign that clearly reads IMPOSTOR.

But tonight, I convinced an almost 3 year old to go to sleep without a fight or a crying jag. Tonight, I am a genius.

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