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Horse and Ernie

January 20, 2011

I’ve been dangling Henry’s birthday party over him, rather like a carrot—or an apricot—when things get rough in the evening.

Things are getting rough in the evening. We have been on what i like to think of Hawaii time. We go to bed soooooooper late, and get up sooooooper late. I think this might be because Henry’s dad just started working later hours, so if Henry went to bed at a normal time, he wouldn’t get to see his dad.

Henry’s brilliant solution is to refuse to go to bed. Then when his dad gets home, he is WAY TOO excited to go to bed.

In the evening, I cannot stand this scenario. But in the morning when I wake up and it’s 9:30 and my child is snoozing peacefully and I feel like a cheerful human lady instead of an overtired koala-clawed hag, the late bedtime moves from the “terrible problem” category into the “really cozy” one.

Part of the problem around bed time might be that he is still recuperating from the horror of dinner; I know that it is taking me some time to recover from dinner. At this juncture, Henry sees no reason to eat anything other than dried apricots for dinner. Full cream coconut flavored yogurt, his favorite sort of pasta, asparagus spears broiled just the way he likes them: no, no, no. He pushes these things away and points unremittingly to the cabinet.

He’ll have two dried apricots and a side of screaming please. No: he’ll have the apricots, and he’ll give me the screaming.

When I was making some food for New Year’s Eve, I turned around and he had shoved his entire mouth full of prunes. If you try to remove the prunes from him, he will mount an aural nuclear offensive. If you don’t remove the prunes from him, we don’t need to imagine the sort of nuclear offensive.

Don’t worry, he is the farthest thing from underfed. Normally he eats at least one good meal a day, and I’m trying not to sweat the rest.

At times like this, after I have limited the prunes, after the first phase of the tantrum is over, I might bring up his birthday.

We talk about the cousins who will come, his grandparents, his babysitter, a couple kids he pals around with.

The other day I asked him if he wanted anyone else to come.

“Horse,” he answered, definitively.

“Ernie,” he added, after thinking for a moment.

Okay, one key lesson from parenting: don’t ask if you can’t deliver.

Another is: do not store apricots at eye level.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gabrielle permalink
    January 21, 2011 5:30 am

    At least he won’t be constipated! Claire is doing the same thing now-10 O’Clock bedtimes are not unusual anymore and I feel the same way about it in the a.m.-glad she’s not the 4:30 a.m. baby that a friend has!

  2. Michelle permalink
    January 21, 2011 5:57 am

    Horse and Ernie agree that children get enough food. Children are natural creatures, closer to animals than the mature human, and they do just fine with mono-thematic diets. We have a friend who’s child is now eating only white things. She’s the fourth child, her parents are calmly waiting it out. Sorry about the screaming, though. Later it might change to yelling – but it’s still so EXHAUSTING.

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