Nighttime Questions

October 2, 2007

Our 2-year-old has just begun using words and phrases that we are actually able to understand. It is so cool! And every night, as she sleeps, the vocabulary elves reproduce and have vocabulary babies, that are then brought out and displayed at various times the next day. We will be eating breakfast, and suddenly, the word “oatmeal!” will come from this child……and she couldn’t say that yesterday! Entire sentences are not yet fully uttered, however, except one. She stands on the sidelines of a football game being played by the boys in our family, and when it is time for someone to kick a field goal, she will stand and yell over and over, “KICK IT NOW! KICK IT NOW!” And just in case you don’t know, that is a line from “Facing the Giants”, which my children think is the greatest use of human energy ever expended.

And she has this lisp. Oh my. Am I the only mom out there who thinks lisps rank right up there with naked babies and chubby toddlers wearing sleepers? Cute doesn’t even cover it.

But here’s the weird part. Every day and night, before naptime and bedtime, as I am changing her diaper, or filling up her bed cup, or putting her in her crib, she ALWAYS asks this question…..

“After night-night, Mommy?” No typo. I didn’t leave any words out, and I fully realize that there is not a complete thought there. (Microsoft Word would so hate this sentence.)

And it’s not as if we haven’t tried desperately to figure out the logic.

“After night-night WHAT, Precious?”
“After night-night, Mommy?”

“After night-night, are we going to eat? Is that what you mean?”
“After night-night, Mommy?”

“After night-night, are we going somewhere in the van?”
“After night-night, Mommy?”

“After night-night, are we going to put on your apple dress? Is THAT what you’re asking?”
“After night-night, Mommy?”

My husband didn’t understand the significance of this entire line of questioning every night, until it was directed at HIM. He looked at me puzzled after the first time she asked this. I chuckled softly and said, “I told you about this, remember? You thought I was just being pregnant about the whole thing, and letting it bother me needlessly.” But now he gets it. And he thought he had a good solution. Whenever the question would come out of her mouth at various bedtimes, he would say “Yes!”, with excitement in his voice, and a broad smile across his face. But this did not solve the problem. In fact, it caused MORE problems, because she now wonders what secret he is hiding that makes him sound like the circus is coming to our backyard tomorrow, and she will get to ride the elephants!

“After night-night, Daddy?”
“After night-night, Daddy?”
“After night-night, Daddy?”
(moves up an octave and speaks faster) “After night-night, Daddy?”
(another octave, and hopping up and down commences) “After night-night, Daddy?”
“OH, YES!”
(another octave, to the level of the mice in “Cinderella”; still hopping, but more furiously now) “After night-night, Daddy?”

And this is when I break in and must restrain myself from strangling one or both of them to get them to JUST STOP ALREADY BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT AND I CAN’T TAKE IT AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT QUESTION MEANS, BUT IF PUTTING AN ENTIRE BOX OF COOKIES IN YOUR CRIB WILL MAKE YOU STOP, WHAT FLAVOR WOULD YOU LIKE? Just please (gasp!)….PLEASE (sob!)….stop!


4 Responses to “Nighttime Questions”

  1. happygeek said

    The strange thing is, I think we’ve had the very same conversation in our house! Many many times! I neverthought to end it with cookies however! Good idea:)

  2. Palmetto Boy said

    That is just too cute! I loved it.

  3. Alyson said

    I thought I would leave a message today…I read your blog daily and love your stories.

    they really know how to test our patience don’t they ?

  4. Mother said

    I think the reason she was frustrated when daddy said, “Yes!” is because she is at the stage when she wants to hear her question re-stated by the adult . . AND the resulting answer. (Just so she knows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that we did indeed understand her.) WHY do children do this to us when we CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY’RE SAYING!?! Let us know when you work it out! 🙂

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