For months now, Susannah has been a good egg about going down for naps and at nighttime. The routine is solid: we read two books, she turns over onto my shoulder, tucks a book under her chest and puts her head down while I sing to her. Usually she joins in with the singing but doesn't peep when I lay her in her crib.
The last few days, she goes down nicely, but wakes up about an hour later screaming like a banshee. Literally, she screams like she is on fire. The same way she screams in the church nursery if anyone dares to approach her while she lies prone on the nursery floor flailing and screaming "NOOOO!" if anyone offers to pick her up. Or the same way she screams while rolling face first in the gravel of the driveway when I tell her she can't ride her little car into the road. "In DA ROAD, YESSSS!"
Anyway, the point is that she would not stop screaming and it woke the other girls which is anathema in my house. We do not wake children. This is why I have been walking on the balls of my feet for SIX long years. Because if I put my heels down, it MIGHT WAKE a child. It is the same reason that I do not load or unload the dishwasher while a child is sleeping and the reason that I climb the stairs in a spread-eagled position because I know that the top five stairs squeak like a quintet of mice newborns. So when Molly and Frankie woke up and yelled for Sukie to be quiet, I finally relented and took her in my bed since Dean was at a movie and couldn't put his foot down and make me let her cry it out (I think if she was yelling "Daddy" plaintively instead of "Mommy," even his good intentions would be puddling on the floor).
All that earned me was another hour and a half of a very cheerful and bubbly baby with absolutely no intention of slumber and every intention of chatting. Every time I told her to lie down she would burst into song; " 'ooooooMORROW, 'ooooooMORROW, I yuvya, 'oooooMORROW, 'oo're onyee a day AWAAAAY! (slight pause) AGAIN! 'oooooMORROW....." and so on. Then she'd begin chanting what I do when she has a hard time sleeping. I go through a long list of names and tell her they are all sleeping, in my most hypnotic voice, hoping she will soon add herself to the list. So last night she dutifully lay still for a while, softly listing "Oma night-night, Opa night-night, Inkie night-night, Molly night-night, Jude night-night, Tylvie night-night, Ever-botty night-night. OK, MAMA? OK. MAMA? Good night, MAMA! (slapping my face) Good-night!." Next she pretended her hand was a cell phone "Allo? Allo? Ummmm. Ummmm. OK!" and then busied herself tucking her baby doll in over and over again, kissing it and saying "Night-night, baby. You blankie. Night-night." I finally had it when she began singing Rock-A-Bye Baby and swinging her baby so violently that its plastic head continually whacked me in the forehead.
My good cheer gave way to some good sound parenting and, one regular routine later, she was back in her own crib. But, truthfully, I woke up during the night smiling about fat toddlers singing "Tomorrow."