Our normal bedtime ritual begins like everyone else. Bath, teeth, books, prayers, bed... that's where the similarities end. my dear daughter must talk herself to sleep. I know, shocking. So we let her have a few toys in her bed to wind herself down.
S: Can I have my toys?
M: What are you playing with tonight?
S: That doll that's in the basement and the barbie that's in the car.
M: Nope, try again.
S: exasperated Fine, my squinkies and the house.
M: Much better, Good night, Love you.
S: Love you
M: Love you more
S: Love you morest
(That's my favorite part of the ritual, someday she'll learn that morest isn't a word, until then... it's cute!)
Papa Smurf (the artist formerly known as grumpy dwarf) settles in with a book and is silent.
Shannie on the other hand... sings, dances, and generally parties herself to sleep. Often the radio gets cranked up to her favorite song and a dance party ensues. As long as it's kept in her room, and it doesn't disrupt anyone else, it's fair game. It usually ends quickly and she's out in 20 minutes or so. I go up, turn off the overhead lights and turn the radio down a few hundred decibels, pull 18 toys from her bed, and tuck her in "tight" while listening to her snore and talk (yup, she talks even in her sleep)
Last night however, dear Husband and I had long tucked in the little darlings. (like 3 hours before, it was nearing 11) the lights were out the music was quiet... eerily quiet.
Me: "Next commercial break I'd better check on Shannie"
Husband: "She has been awfully quiet tonight"
Me: giving her the benefit of the doubt "She did have a busy day, maybe she was just tired"
Husband: "Snort" (you know that snort that means, I don't want to argue with you, but you just said something really dumb)
**Sometime before the next commercial break**
Creak, pitter pat, pitter pat, slam, thump, crash, pitter pat, pitter pat, creak, thump....
Then... the Radio. It was cranked up (and I mean UP) to the spanish music "mariachi" station.
Me: "I'd better go check that"
Husband: giggle giggle giggle (if he giggled... it was really more like a chuckle)
I open the door to her room, turn the Spanish musical channel down a few hundred decibels, and observe the scenario:
Shannon is standing up in her bed, a nearly empty squirt bottle of lysol bathroom cleaner in her hand, and an entire roll of paper towel strewn about her room. She was dancing, singing to mariachi music, using the lysol bottle as a "ukelele" in between dousing her bed, walls, sheets etc. with lysol spray, and having the very best time of her life.
Me: "Shannie, it's very late my dear, what are you doing?"
Shannie: "I was asleep, and then heard this great song, it made me want to clean my bed and walls."
Me: "Maybe we could do this tomorrow?"
Shannie: "But Mom, then the song will be over!!"
Me: shaking my head "Well then why don't you finish it up real quick and get back to sleep."
Shannie: "Ok, love you."
I have no great moral to this story, no great words of wisdom, except perhaps that we should hide the cleaning supplies, give our daughter sleeping pills, or I need to take a class in strong arming a strong willed preschooler. None of which is really practical or necessary. I suppose we will just continue to smile, giggle, roll our eyes, and remember that this phase will pass all to soon. She will be a cynical teenager someday, she will still crank up the music, though I doubt it will be the spanish music channel. I do hope she continues to find joy in music. I have never met a 5 year old with more love for music than that girl. So for now, we celebrate Shannie, all of Shannie. the fun, the frustrating the bizarre and the crazy. I can't wait to see what kind of grown up she will be...