In heated battle Sunday night, Laurel Cupit masterfully executed bedtime stall tactics used by children throughout the ages. Laurel's arsenal includes, "I need to go potty." She also says, "No dinosaurs...no tigers." Laurel feigns fear and insists that Mother and Father look behind the bed for any scary beings. Sunday night (trash night), Laurel can also use her "No thunder, Mommy" trick. She hears the trash cans from the neighbor's house coming down the driveway to the curb. Laurel has been told time and again that this is only a trashcan. She has even been shown how to look out of the blinds and watch the trashcan going down to the street. About this time Laurel develops an unquenchable thirst, followed shortly by another trip to the potty. This time the potty trip usually proves fruitful. Next Laurel finds something that doesn't belong in her room or that she just wants to give to Mommy. She either stands at her door or comes searching through the house, "Here, Mommy..." Sometimes, after the second or third tuck-in, Laurel tries this one: "I awake, Mommy" - as if she has taken her nap and is ready to go play now. Eventually, Mommy and/or Daddy get frustrated, call the "last tuck-in and last kiss." At this point, Daddy takes over solo. Laurel executes another play, Daddy enters the room. Laurel instantaneously cries. Not just a whimper, but the nostrils flaring, alligator tears, can't control her breathing cry. "I want Mommy...one kiss...one kiss...one kiss!" One kiss was a retaliation tactic designed by Daddy to win prior bedtime battles. Daddy would tell Laurel, "Stop crying right now and Mommy will come give you one kiss and THAT'S IT." At which point, Mommy enters the room, gives one kiss (no talking) and exits the room. That was working for quite a while, but little Laurel is a wily one. She has figured out that if you can't go straight to goal "D" then start with A (an easy request), push to B, on to C, and before you know it you've reached D!!!
So tonight, Mommy and Daddy begin the Supernanny theory of no eye contact and no talking. We will enter the room, put Laurel back in bed and leave. Mother and Father are prepared for tears, even an all out resistance, but they pledge to hold steady to the course. The battle is set to begin no later than 8 o'clock tonight. Stay tuned in future posts to read about the outcome.