I Just Want to Look…

Kaylee has hit THAT stage.  You know the one I’m talking about.  The one where suddenly she’s NEVER tired.  She fights taking naps, she fights going to bed, and despite practically dozing off as she’s fighting me on these subjects won’t admit that going to bed is really in her best interest.  To go along with those fights, she’s also hit the stage where at least a couple of nights a week she wakes up with nightmares and comes crying into our room in the middle of the night.

Between her and Cameron, who is still coming into my room most nights looking for a hug and kiss before climbing back into his own bed and going back to sleep, it seems like I can’t make it through a single night without one or the other waking me up.  It’s gotten to the point where I’m so exhausted that I generally don’t hear them until they are basically right next to me, which means when they wake me up I jump about 15 feet into the air, and in turn scare the daylights out of them, and end up waking Matt up as well.

A few nights ago we’d had our normal fight with Kaylee about going to bed.  Once we finally got her settled, Matt and I went out to the living room to watch some TV.  It had taken us the better part of an hour to get her calmed down so by the time we were done the boys were in bed as well.  One of the other problems we have with both Cameron and Kaylee is that even after we get them into bed for the night, they’ll try to get up a dozen or so times for various reasons.  Our automatic response is to holler out, “who’s up and why?” because they are allowed to get up to go to the bathroom.

We’d been watching TV for about an hour or so when we heard a door creak open.  Our “who’s up and why” was met with no answer.  Matt hollered out the question a second time, still with no response.  We were just thinking that we’d imagined the sound, or that we hadn’t gotten one of the doors latched and the sound of it creaking open was from a cat sneaking through the crack.  Finally we heard the pitter patter of feet coming toward us and Kaylee appeared next to Matt.

He asked her what was wrong, and she burst into tears.  She looked so pathetic, standing there with her hair disheveled and sobbing her tiny little heart out.  It broke Matt’s heart to see her so sad, and he scooped her right up and snuggled her.  After a few minutes we finally worked out that she’d had a nightmare.  Matt had calmed her down some, but we knew she was still upset enough that trying to put her to bed would be all but impossible.

Matt had been eating a snack of Nestlé’s Buncha Crunch when Kaylee came out.  Kaylee loves Buncha Crunch (she calls them crunchy bunchy’s) so Matt thought bribing her with a couple of them might help get her back into bed.  At first, it seemed that his plan worked.  She accepted the chocolate pieces into her pudgy little hand and toddled off back to her bedroom.  After a few minutes though she was crying again, this time from her bed.  I got up and went to see what the problem was this time.

When I got to her room it was instantly apparent what the problem was.  Kaylee had crawled back into bed, but rather than eat the snack Matt had provided her she’d continued to hold onto them and now her hand was fast becoming a sticky, gooey, drippy mess of chocolate.  I hollered for Matt, and desperately looked around the room to see if I had any wipes within reach.  I didn’t but what I did see was a bowl that she’d had fruit snacks in a day or two before that I hadn’t removed off her night table yet.

I dove for the bowl and began scraping as much of the chocolate out of her hand and into the bowl as I could.  Matt came in to see what the problem was, and took the bowl to the kitchen to be rinsed out.  Kaylee started howling again because she wanted her snack.  I got the wipes out of her dresser and finished cleaning her up while Matt was out in the kitchen.  He finally re-appeared in the doorway holding different bowl with more Buncha Crunch’s in it to replace the ones that she hadn’t had a chance to eat.

With Kaylee significantly calmed, Matt left me to handle the actual task of getting her back to bed.  I told her we’d get her settled into bed, then she could have her snack.  She laid down in her bed, I covered her up and handed her the bowl of Buncha Crunch.  I then set about getting her radio re-started and shooing the cat back out of her room.  As I was about to close the door and leave I noticed that she wasn’t eating her snack, just holding the bowl awkwardly.

I went back to her bedside and noticed how very tired she was looking.  I suggested we just save the snack for tomorrow and have it tomorrow.  She didn’t want to give up her bowl though.  I don’t think she was understanding that I wasn’t going to throw it out.  Being unable to convince her, and not wanting to keep her awake longer by arguing with her I told her to eat her snack so she could go to sleep.  She very drowsily said, “I don’t want to eat it, I just want to look at it.”

It was about the most adorable thing I’d ever heard her say.  Understanding now that she wanted to keep her snack but was just too tired to eat it, I got her laid down again and set the bowl of Buncha Crunch next to her on the pillow.  As I left the room the second time I saw her reach out a pudgy little hand and caress the bowl gently.

I found Matt organizing some things in the basement and told him what had happened.  He got as big a kick out of it as I had.  I also suggested we wait about 5 minutes and then go and try to retrieve the bowl.  Otherwise we’d probably end up with a sticky, gooey, chocolaty mess in the morning.  He agreed with me, and after a few minutes we headed up the stairs.

I let Matt go and retrieve the bowl so that he could see how adorable it was.  Sure enough, when he went into her room she was in the exact same position I’d left her in…fast asleep.  He grabbed the bowl and tip-toed out of her room.  We set the snack aside to be eaten the next day.

The next morning, after the kids had finished their breakfast, I set the bowl in front of Kaylee again.  She looked very confused as to why she was receiving her all time favorite snack right after breakfast.  I told her it was her snack from last night and that she could eat it now.  She continued to look confused, but wasn’t about to give up a perfectly good snack even if she didn’t understand why she got it.  That pretty much told me she’d been so tired the night before that she remembered very little if anything about what happened.

Whether she remembers or not, it was still worth it.  Thanks to that I will always have the image of my daughter cuddling with a bowl of Buncha Crunch to get me through the day.

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