Tonight's bedtime has been a doozy. I was on my own, since S had to head to campus early for his film series, and it's been more than 2 hours since we started bedtime routine stuff. Both kids have been having trouble, which is really unusual. I'm used to BB's bedtime challenges, but BJ usually does great. She's finally out, and has been for an hour or so, but he still isn't asleep. I think -- I hope! -- he's finally headed that way.
BB has been cranky all day -- a combination of teething woes and the shots at her 15 month checkup this morning. (The doctor's visit went well, other than the fact that she wanted nothing to do with the tape to measure her head circumference; all vitals are good.) The grouchies continued through bath and bedtime, with it taking more than 45 minutes to get her to finally fall asleep.
BJ was very patient through all her crying and fussing, but not 10 minutes after she finally drifted off he was wailing himself. I ran in to see what was the matter and found him in near hysterics. This is so unlike him, I thought he must have hurt himself somehow. But no, he was scared. (This too is very unlike him.) In between sobs, he asked, "What is that 'mmm, mmm' noise, Mommy?!?" It was the clothes washer, which I explained as I calmed him down. He was so upset, poor boo. As I was comforting him, he pressed a teary face into my hand, which was clutched in his own. "Mommy, you're with me, you're with me." The repetition was clearly a comfort. Then he said, with utter sincerity and a deep sigh, "Mommy, you're such a community helper."
I bit my tongue for all I was worth and continued shushing and soothing him. Not exactly the best moment to burst into laughter. His compliment isn't as strange as it sounds, actually; some time ago, we'd borrowed a book from the library titled "Community Helpers from A to Z" or something like that. It was all about people who are helpers, and he was clearly trying to let me know that I was helping him. Definitely one of those phrases I'll be remembering for quite some time.
The typical house rule is no getting up out of bed once bedtime is official, but tonight I made an exception when he asked specifically to see the washing machine and to help me move the clothes to the dryer. This seemed to help reassure him about the noise, and he was much calmer after we'd read "Hop on Pop" at his request. Unfortunately, once he'd returned to bed he got upset about the bumping of the dryer balls in the dryer. I think he's finally asleep, thank goodness. May things stay that way.
And I'm enormously grateful that BB didn't wake up for any of this (knock wood). S doesn't get home tonight until well after 11 pm, so I still have several hours on my own, and while I've kept my cool quite well so far, I don't know how much patience I have left for bedtime antics. I think I'll go take out the dryer balls, so there are no more things going bump in the night.