Sorry, I just had a premature publication. I needed to separate the I. Am. Winning post into two posts. So here’s the second half on its own.
My nephew, Matt, is an exceptionally bright child. He has an extensive vocabulary and a real flair for the dramatic. Never is this flair more evident than when he is being put to bed, by me or his mother, it doesn’t matter. His performances soar, ranging from dramatic to absurd to sorrowful to silence when his performance has simply worn him out and he slumbers.
All goes well at the outset.
“Matt, it is time to brush teeth and get on your jammies.”
He jumps and dances and goofs his way down the hall, does a very active job of brushing his teeth, leaps on to his bed and thrashes around and gets his pajamas on. He selects the reading material for the evening, last night we read the short story, “The Stinky Cheese Man” from the collection “The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Awful Tales“. I highly recommend it. We lie down and read the story. And then it’s lights out and the very faint, fake whimpering begins. I lie with him for a couple of minutes.
“I miss my family!” whimper whimper whimper
I am your family
“No, you’re not!”
Yes, I am. (Yes, I will argue with 4-year-olds.)
“No, you’re not!”
I am your family. You miss your parents but I am your family.
“Ohhhhh, maaahhhma!” It’s very sad indeed.
I then get up and tell him that it is time to go to sleep and that I will leave the door open a crack. I leave the door ajar, go across the hall to my room and futz on my computer or down the hall to clean the kitchen. I like to stay close though, so I can hear the the nightly tragicomedy that is Matt going to bed.
Here are word-for-word examples, exact quotes of things he says in an attempt to persuade someone, anyone to get him out of bed.
I’m sad that no one cares for me! Oh no. I don’t live anymore!
Please please please don’t do this!
Oh no. I miss my family. Oh please!!!
oh dear! (he says “oh dear”, “oh no” and “oh my” a lot. He’s a 4-year-old boy on the outside and an 83-year-old woman on the inside.)
No pillow for me! No blankets! I need to be warm!!!
I’m too tired to be a big boy..
It’s too late for me to go to bed!
I’m not a big fan of this behavior!
Oh noooo, this is terrible!!
This is not the *best* attitude…
I’m hungry, you guys don’t let me eat food these days…..
Last night’s performance only lasted about 15 minutes. He works at it for much longer with his mother because, well because she’s his mother and that’s what children do is torture their parents.