And she’s asleep. After 3.5 hours of mood swings and a lot of patience and consistency from Mommy and Daddy, Colette fell asleep without boppy.
We discussed her big day tomorrow as we got her ready for bed, and it started.
C: “I’m not a big girl yet!”
J: “you’re not a grown up yet but you’re not a baby. You’re getting bigger, and this is bye bye boppy night.”
L: “you’re bigger but not too big. Still little. Little enough to hold and carry…” As she holds on tight, I lift her up and we hug.”
C: “you hold me!” Excited that she’s not too big.
L: “let’s put boppy under your pillow for the boppy fairy”
C: “I’m not ready yet.”
L: “ok, well why don’t we collect boppies and decide what we’re going to do with them. Which one do you want to put under your pillow for the Boppy Fairy?
C: points to pink and green Nuk. (Not a favorite)
L: “Which one do you want to give to William? Which one looks like a good boy one?”
C: points to yellow Nuk. (Not a favorite)
L: “which ones will we tie to balloons?”
C: points to least favorite pink one with orthodontic tip
L: “and what are we going to do with the others? Should we tie them to balloons too?”
L: “Should we give them to the boppy fairy?”
C: “No…I keep them.”
L: “remember? it’s no more boppies.”
C: looking panicked. Holding tightly to her boppies. Switching to 2 year old Mine-mode. “I’m not giving it to William!”
L: having tried to tread carefully and not associate the arrival of her little brother with taking her boppies away. “Ok, that’s fine. You don’t have to give any to William. You just had said that you wanted to. What should we do with it instead?”
C: beast mode. “I’m not giving it to William.”
L: “ok, we could put it under your pillow for the boppy fairy or tie it to a balloon.”
C: heart-breaking cry “no! I’m not ready”
J: melting. “I know Honey, it’s hard. I remember when my mommy told me I had to do something like a big boy, and it was really hard. Are you sad?”
C: walls down. Crying. Clinging to boppies. “Yes….I’m sad. It’s hard. I’m not ready. I don’t want to be big. I’m not ready.”
J: “I understand. Do you need more time?”
J: “ok how about you hold onto them for a few more minutes, and then you can give them to me.”
C: beast returns. Screaming. “Noooooo! I’m not ready!!!!”
L: “What if we set an alarm?”
C: beast mode. Tears streaming. “Noooo! I’m not ready!!!”
L: “ok, I need to to try to calm down and talk nicely. Do you want to give them to Daddy one at a time? Let’s pick one.”
C: “noooo! I’m not giving them to Daddy!”
J: “that’s fine. But you do remember that yiu have to put them up tonight? Bye bye boppies, remember? What do you want to do with them? Why don’t you pick one?
L: “ok, well if you can’t pick one, Mommy will. How bout this one (a Nuk)? You don’t even really like this one. We can put them in your Fairy Cup?” Daddy goes to get Fairy Cup
C: “noooo!!!” Breaking. “I’m not ready.”
C: softening. Crying. “No…I don’t want to put them in my fairy cup. I’m not ready. It’s hard. I don’t want balloons. I don’t want cupcakes. I don’t want big girl day. It’s a hard day…” Threatening to hurl Fairy Cup across the room. L: “don’t you throw it.” C: restrains herself J: still melting L: “ok, I know you may not feel ready or you don’t want to be big, but it’s time. Remember the dentist said it’s not good for your teeth? It hurts them. And you are bigger. Did you know that Mommy used to have to carry you everywhere?” J: “and then you started to move around, and then crawl, and pretty quickly after that: you walked!” L: “and then you ran! And jumped! You’ve gotten soooo good at your jumping!!” C: excited about the change of subject. “I jump on bounce-a-line!” L: “you’ve gotten so big! And William won’t be able to jump with you for a long time! Only you can jump on there until he’s big enough!” C: “he’ll be too little?” L: “yep! And do you remember what you used to eat when you were a baby?” C “yeah.” But no answer, obviously a little confused J: “you used to only have milk!” L: “do you remember you used to nurse? And then you got bigger and we had to stop. And you got to start eating ice cream, and cupcakes, and hot dogs, and cold peas, and burger burgers, and fry fries!” C: following our logic and completely excited talking about yummy foods. J: “see this is the same! You stopped nursing and you loved to nurse! And it was sad at first, but you did it! And now you don’t nurse anymore!” L: “and you know what Honey? You know how the dentist said your boppies hurt our teeth. If you don’t stop sucking on them, he might have to tell you that you can have those yummy foods anymore cause your teeth don’t work. You can’t chew them. That would be sad.” J: “yeah that would be sad…” A moment of processing. C: with resolution. “I’m ready now! I’ll put boppies in the Fairy Cup.” J: handing her the cup. Welling up with tears. “I’m so proud of you!” L: “I love you! I’m so proud of you too.” C: “I want chocolate milk and to read books.”
Ok. The switch-flipped. We were on our way to finishing the bedtime routine. I went to get chocolate milk, and Colette stayed with Jon to read books. Except she didn’t. She decides to come help me make her milk. Ok. That’s cool, whatever you want. We’ve gotten over the hump…
We happily read books, take a picture with her new stuffed animal comfort items, Snoopy and Bopper–who have been stuffed with boppies–, switch off the light, and sing songs. Colette sings with her best heavy metal impression and jibber jabber, because, like her Daddy, humor and silliness are how she deals with stress. Then she snuggles up to me to fall asleep and says, “I want bop….” L: jumping in as quickly as possible, as I hand her the new comfort pups. “You want Snoopy and Bopper?” C: beast mode returning with a little bit of sadness. Throwing Bopper one way and Snoopy the other way. “No!!!” Crying. “I want boppy! I’m not ready….” L: “remember you put them in your Fairy Cup. You did so well!” J: “remember? And we sang songs and learned the Winnie the Pooh song words…” He starts singing “Winnie the pooh, Winnie the Pooh…” C: starts to smile, and sings along with us.
Phew major setback thwarted. But then began the “wallowing” hour. She talked about everything that could have possibly been on her mind. She wondered what Tony, our Honda sales guy from yesterday, was up to. She talked about her new car, “Ho-disseeeusss.” All of the specific topics are muddled, because she talked A LOT! Another coping strategy. Meanwhile, she was “wallowing,” an apparently genetic trait that includes standing on her head, putting her feet in the air and on the wall, rolling, curling up into a ball. She cuddled up a couple times but never settled. With lots of warnings and notice, I finally had to leave the room to take my contacts out.
She stayed with Daddy. Daddy told her stories–another apparently genetic trait, because he spun a tale just like his Mom can. After about 20min of that, they decided to come sleep in Mommy and Daddy’s room because she had been such a good girl without boppy….
When they came out, and she was still rubbing her nose (she had started earlier in the night after she cuddled with a stuffed doggy, which Nona gave her, that watches over Colette from the shelf). Seizing the opportunity… L: “is your nose still itchy?” C: “yeah. I need some medicine. I need honey.” L: “well honey is for when you cough, but we could give you some bubblegum medicine for your nose. Mommy’s nose is really itchy too,” (it is. I am itching it and my eyes as I write). C: “I need medicine to feel better”
Well isn’t that convenient…ok…. Let’s do it. She takes her dose, so it shouldn’t be long for her to be nudged toward sleepy time.
Try another hour. Another hour of wallowing, with a moment of “i forgot my boppy!” and reassurance that she’s doing so well. She just needs to close her eyes and go to to sleep, so she wake up and have “coffee” in the morning. Another hour of talking about Tony again and where he is and if he is going to come to her Big Girl Party, and what kind of cupcakes we’ll make, and where will we get balloons, and can we get party hats, where will we get party hats, what else will we get at the party store, will we to to the Mickey Mouse store, will Daddy come with us, who will come to my party, PomPom and Omi will come, we need to put star sprinkles on her cupcakes………
I continued to nudge her to close her eyes. Finally.
C: eyes closed. Drifting off. “put the blanket on my legs. On my neck. I little in this blanket. You carry me?” L: “yes, I can still carry you. You are still little enough for that.” C: drifting. “You…carry…me…? You…hold…me?”
As I rub her back, she falls asleep with an empty mouth and no sucking reflex. Done!