Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paying for Anna's nap

The sound of Anna's finger restlessly drumming against her father's pillow would on a normal evening be mildly annoying. Tonight however I fear it may be my complete undoing. It's 12:30 am and Anna is still awake because I was foolish enough to allow her to doze off on the couch this afternoon. Not that I had a choice. After a two weeks break from school, two days back had exhausted her completely. And so my tired child slept and I am now paying for it seven full hours later. Seven hours! Shouldn't she be tired just from being awake that long? Seven hours of consciousness usually wears me out.

I performed all of my evening chores with Anna underfoot, trying to "help." She followed me around asking me what else she could do and snorted when my answer was "go to bed." When I was finally ready to go to bed myself I made her lay down with me. For over an hour I tried to fall asleep but instead was tormented by Anna tossing and turning and fixing her nightgown and snickering as she tried to touch strands of my hair without detection. I finally get her to lay still and be quiet but that rogue finger and the odd popping sound it made against the memory foam material becomes the proverbial straw. My patience begins to completely unravel. I whisper harshly for her to stop and threaten to put her back in her own bed.

A moment later I realize that under the blankets Anna is slowly snaking one long leg in my direction. Her big toe pauses at my knee and then wiggles, tickling me. Even in the dark she sees me smile and erupts in high-pitched giggles. I can't help but join in, it's my favorite sound in the world. I recover quickly, repeat my now-meaningless threat and turn so I am facing away from my little night owl. But the jig is up, she knows I'm not frustrated anymore. But hey, I'm not frustrated anymore. I am put back together by the sound of her laughter. So I give in, as I so often do with these tiny sweet complicated girls. Especially when they are cuddling me. I stay facing away from her, but let her play with my hair and sing silly songs into my ear. The singing finally gives way to snoring and I fall asleep with the sound of her mermaid song in my ears. Not the worst lullaby in the world.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Twisting the rules of hospitality

Anna is somewhat obsessed these days with other people's houses. This is a direct side effect of preschool and the resulting play dates she's had with classmates. Interestingly enough she doesn't yet compare the other houses to ours, she just gets excited to see what kind of stuff other families have. So I wasn't all that surprised when on a recent car trip she looked out at the residential neighborhood we were driving through and asked if we could go to "those people's houses." When I pointed out that we don't know those people, she thought for a second and boiled it down to a rule.

"So, if we don't know the people, we don't go to the house?"
"But we could try."
"What should we do, just go up and say 'hi I don't know you but I want to go in your house'?"
(Giggling) "Yes!"
"And when we got in their house what would we do?"
"Ummmmm, ask them their names."