Sunday, October 01, 2006


Since the move, the sleeping arrangements have changed, and Jonah and Sam now share the bottom twin of a bunk bed. (It's a better arrangement than the previous one, which had Jonah and Sam sharing a double bed and Timothy and Stephen in the twin.)

Having the younger two boys together makes bedtime a recurring adventure, as every night they make up excuses for getting out of bed, fight over blankets or pillows, run into the big boys' room to bother them, or simply get up and play with their LEGO's.

My favorite nighttime incident found Sam sneaking up to the big boys' door, then jumping into their room and yelling, "SHUT UP!" at the top of his lungs. This is the Queen Mother of bad words in our house (as far as the children are concerned), and the boys call it the "s-word". As soon as Sam did it, he saw me. His eyes got huge, and he ran into his room, jumped in his bed, all the while shouting, "I don't want a spanking! I don't want a spanking!"

He got a spanking. Then I walked downstairs, told my wife, and we rolled around laughing for a few minutes. I'm gonna miss this age.

At bedtime, Jonah is the master of routine, surpassing even Timothy in his rut-philia. For two years after Stephen was in the hospital for pneumonia, Jonah's nightly prayer consisted only of "Dear God, please help Stephen get better. Amen." It drove Stephen (who slept with Jonah for most of those 2 years) to distraction. "Make him stop," he would plead. "I can't," I replied, "It's Jonah."

The current Jonah pattern is to read a favorite book (which is just recently changing, after a year of "If You Give A Pig A Pancake"), to pray, and then give hugs and kisses. Jonah gets a Small Hug and a kiss each time. (A Small Hug is a hug during which you say the words, "Small Hug." Seriously. One-armed, two-armed, tight squeeze, light squeeze, it doesn't matter. But you have to say, "Small Hug."). If you miss part of the hug/kiss routine, you have to do it over.

Sam has been doing variations on this theme, starting with Medium Hugs (one-arm, tight squeeze) and going to Small Hugs (as per the Jonah standard). Sam also started out getting a kiss, but recently stopped accepting them. If I mistakenly give Sam a kiss, I have to "take it back." This means making a sucking noise with obvoiusly pursed lips and then kissing the same place.

Knowing Sam, I don't think this is a ruse to get another kiss. I think he believes that I am removing the kiss. Ah, 3.

But last night, after a fine dinner and playtime with some cousins, Sam was a wreck. He was tired, not having had his 4 o'clock Blues Clues nap (Put on the Blues Clues Safari video, put Sam on couch, go get a Coke. When you return, Sam is asleep on the couch.), and it was over an hour past his bedtime. So, after an emotion-filled reading of "Piggies", I finally got Jonah and Sam into bed.

Jonah prayed, Sam didn't. I gave Jonah his Small Hug and kiss, and then got to Sam. I remembered that he didn't want the kiss, but when I hugged him and walked out of the room, he started crying. I let him cry for a few minutes (he does this sometimes and falls asleep anyway), but he didn't stop. So I walked back in and asked him what was the matter. He said he didn't want the hug.

I asked him if he wanted me to take the hug back, figuring it was such a ridiculous question that he would either a) see the foolishness of his ways and stop, or b) laugh and stop. He said yes. Now I was stuck. How do you take back a hug? Make a sucking sound as you hug him again?

So I put my arms behind my back, bumped Sam lightly on the chest with my chest, and said, "There. I took the hug back. Is that okay?"

"Yes," came the reply, and then he stopped crying, closed his eyes, and went to sleep.


At 11:22 PM, Anonymous the canadian said...

rarely do i enjoy reading things so much as i do your blogs.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Becki said...

me, too.....and I do know there are lots of other people out there enjoying them, too.


At 3:25 PM, Blogger fiorinda said...

Let's not get our boy and Jonah together. We also have a rut problem. The nighttime book is mercifully different every other night when it is the girl's turn to pick.

Three is such a fun age. (is there an emoticon for sarcasm).

At 7:15 PM, Anonymous kilsan said...

At what age did you graduate kids to the top bunk? We're going camping in the yurt in the month and Sam wants to sleep on the top, but i'm thinking that's not gonna happen :)

We have recently been doing a double feature of "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" followed by the late show "If You Give A Moose A Muffin."


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