Nothing like a lack of sleep to set your whole day wrong. Yesterday the whole family got grumpified starting at six AM. TH thumped down the hall as usual, the drumbeat to which I awake every morning. (She gets it from me, the heel-strike walking position. With our wood floors and raised foundation I find myself skating around on the balls of my feet at home lest it sound like timpani practice.) She came to my side of the bed, because I’m the most responsive in the morning. I think my wife believes that if she acts asleep TH will ignore her. She believes this because it TOTALLY works.
“Get…UP!” [whack on head]
With that start to my day I stumbled up and made oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar, toast with jam, yogurt with flax seed and honey, warmed soy milk, and laid it out with delicate care on TH’s placemat.
She: reading catalog of stratospherically-priced wooden children’s toys, doesn’t look up at food.
Me: “Time to eat breakfast, sweetie.”
Me: “Please, you have to eat so we can get you ready for school.”
She: “No-wuh! YOU…DON’T…USE…THAT…WORD…BABBO!”
She’s taken to lecturing recently, on every topic and to everyone in earshot. My wife and I get harangued most of the day in a loud and stern voice on slight or imagined affronts and poor behavior by a three-foot Nurse Ratched. The first time it might be funny, the tenth time you lose it, and by the twentieth time it has gone from tiresome to sublimely absurd and is funny again. Then you lose it.
By the end of the day TH was refusing to eat dinner except to pick individual grains of rice of her plate with her fingers, ignore the seared Ahi tuna I’d made, and latch her toes on the edge of the table (despite protestations!) like her simian ancestors with opposable toes. Finally she was sent to bed with no dinner, no dessert, no book, no snuggling, no stories. I did kiss her goodnight and tell her I loved her, but I had to carry her into her room like a sack of potatoes. She didn’t cry much because she knew she had bad behavior and was too tired to fight it.
This morning I was woken by a small plush rabbit gently tucked in between my chin and shoulder, then Toddler Harbat climbed quietly into bed with us and snuggled against me. Sleep tames the savage beast.