Friday, April 13, 2007

Just one more question ...

Three-year-olds love to stall. They love to elongate the process of bedtime so that it includes more parent time, more toy time and more just plain I'm loving being alive time.

As I've complained before, bedtime in our house can last for hours. With the music selections, deciding which books to read (and how many encores afterward) getting water to be the right temperature and volume as well as a few random "I'm so scared" pleas for good measure, it's amazing to me that she ever falls asleep.

I berate myself that I'm always at my least able to handle these late night assaults against sleep, and I usually end up pleading with the little miss to go off and join her dreams, wherever they may take her. Just GO!

That's why I'm glad that the stalling tactics have spilled into the morning routine. I've noticed a little rest and time away from the daily grind makes it easier to enjoy the banter.

Lately, after dropping her off at the sitter's, as I say goodbye and head for the car, Annabel taps on the window to ask "one last question."

Of course it's always rainy and cold as I stand outside (without my coat) waiting for her final query, but somehow a little sleep and a long commute ahead cushions the discomfort.

When I was her age, or so my parents tell me, I was just the same way ... only different. For me it was wanting people to talk to me but not really having anything to say. I would hem and haw and say "You know what? You know what?" over and over again until someone would bite.


Then I'd skitter away like a crab behind my father's pant leg and hide. I hadn't though of a question.

Annabel, by contrast, has TONS of them.

Mostly they turn into statements such as "Well, actually ... I was just saying that Mouse is a dog and he's really, really tiny and cute."

or ponderings that have little to do with the morning excitement ...

"Mom, remember when we were with Ama Linda and we swam in the heart-shaped pool in the bathroom? I'd like to go there again sometime."

Of course today, on this gray, lackluster day with fall winds pushing against the promise of spring and the threat of yet more snow for the weekend, she was direct:

"Mom? Why do you have sunglasses on your head?"

"Because I live in hope that they will bring out the warm."


Lauren said...

She's so dang adorable! And smart!

mamatulip said...

Julia is becoming a master staller...each night she gets more and more elaborate.

Maybe if we all join together and wear our shades on our heads, spring will appear.

Sarah said...

She's just so cute!!

So out of curiosity - if we all wear sunglasses on our head, does that increase the odds of warm?

Redneck Mommy said...

She's beautiful.

And clever.

My kids (nine and ten years old) still pester me with the never-ending question game.

Mostly just because they know how quickly it drives me to madness.

They like to pounce on me when I'm at my weakest.

kimmyk said...

I remember playing this game. It was the "!! MOOOOOooommmm!!" Then I'd say "What?" and then they'd look at me like I had a horn growing out of my head.

I wear my sunglasses everyday. It hasn't brought anything but rain. Damnit anyways!

Toni-Marie said...

Awww their so cute at this age, this story makes me want to see my little brother.

stefanierj said...

Ohhhhh I'm so depressed to hear that the stalling tactics don't abate much by 3--it's one of the few developmental milestones we seem to have reached early.:P

She is toooo cute.

Andrea said...

Oh, that's so like my son. Gabe'll ask about a hundred questions in the five minutes between his babysitter's house and our house and if I don't answer right the second he's finished, he repeats it. Would that I had enough patience. But taking time to ponder and answer his questions well just means I end up hearing the question 5 times.

But it still sometimes makes me smile.

Kelly said...


We've actually incorporated the stalling into our bedtime routine. She gets up for one last potty and lotion on her hands and she must (must!!) have a ring on, so she can be like mommy and daddy.

It's maddening when it's happening, but somehow endearing contemplating it here!

Gail said...

My nephew Michael (6) has verbal diarrhea. One of the most ANNOYING phases he's going through is criticizing EVERYONE's driving and accusing the driver of being lost.