Monday, October 20, 2008

Upping the Ante

As I wrote about in a previous post, my little man is constantly finding new ways to scheme and con his way out of bedtime.

When the "I need big kiss" ... "I need hug" scheme began to wear off on mommy, little man upped the ante.

For a while now little man has melted the hearts of all within earshot by uttering "I want to howd you," (Translation: I want to hold you) whenever he was upset, bored, tired, not feeling well or just wanted out of the grocery cart at the store. And sometimes when he really means business he whips out the big guns:

"I want to schnugellu." (Translation: I want to snuggle you.)

I know. It has that effect on me, too.

However, I thought for sure this time little man had peaked. That there was no surpassing the magic lure and heart-melting effects of the "I want to schnugellu." That there could not be anything more he could say that could possibly be more heart-wrenching, mommy-melting or hypnotizing than that.

But, alas, I was wrong. Proving - once again - that little man is always one step ahead of mommy and her ability to (in time) become immune to such warfare.

Last night little man was having a particularly hard time falling asleep. I don't know if he was just overtired, didn't feel well, couldn't get comfortable or what. Just as we thought he was down we would hear him cry from his room for one of us.

Sometimes it was that he couldn't find his "lovey" (a small blue blanket) in his bed. Sometimes he thought he needed to be tucked in again. Other times it was that he needed a drink of water or that he needed to go to the bathroom.

And other times it was the dreaded "I want to howd you" or "I want to schnugellu."

And of course he always said it in the saddest, cutest little way, complete with a little whimper and big, sad blue eyes.

And of course, I would then immediately crawl into bed with him.

I know, the parenting experts, books and magazines will tell you to never do that. That, if done even once, your child will then never learn to fall asleep on their own. That they will forever more think you need to be with them in order for them to fall asleep.

To those experts I say: You've never heard the "I want to schnugellu," have you?

As I snuggled little man in his bed he finally began to doze off. I quietly snuck out of his room and closed the door.

Or so I thought.

Just as I made it back to my bedroom he began calling out again.

I thought for sure he would fall back asleep soon, so I decided to just wait it out, rather than run back into his room.

Then it came. The be-all-and-end-all mommy kryptonite. Worse than the "I want to howd you" and even worse than the "I want to schnugellu."

"Mommy come back!"

At first I didn't understand what he was saying. So I listened again.

"Mommy come back!"

I froze.

"Mommy come back!"

Then it was all like a big blur. When I finally came to I found myself warmly snuggled with little man in his bed, his little hand holding mine as he snuggled in closer.

And I was waving a white flag of surrender ...

... or is that a white flag of defeat?

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