Those moments right before you tuck your kid to sleep are supposed to be their magic minutes. They’re sleepy, they’re cozy, they’re just a bit hazy, like maybe they’ve visited the dentist and received too much Novocain – which, in turn, results in darling and cuddly conversations, delightful musings, and oodles of freely-given hugs.
At least, that’s the theory.
But ever since getting stuck sunny-side-up in the birth canal and requiring an emergency c-section (after many hours of no-epidural pushing, thank you very much), despite being expected to be an “easy” delivery, Annie has taken theories into her own hands and
mangled molded them into something much more Annie-appropriate. “Annie” does not appear anywhere in the dozens of parenting handbooks I purchased (pre-kids, naturally), and so we’ve been learning this parenting thing on the fly.
Which is not to say that her bedtimes aren’t very special, indeed.
As Nick tucked her in last week, Annie suddenly began peppering him with questions about his father’s recent death. Not just any questions… but specifics. How did he die? Where? When? Nick did his best to answer, using kid-friendly language that would placate her but not scare her. All appeared to be going well until the gears began turning in Annie’s head just a little too hard.
See, Grampa Bill is really the only person Annie has lost (thankfully), and her other firsthand knowledge of death was formed by our dog, Madison, who was gently put to sleep – at our home – in June. Annie had been at Grampa Bill and GranMary’s house only a week before Bill passed away, and had seen the hospice nurse coming and going, so it makes sense that she’d make a medical-personnel-housecall connection. Still, Nick was unprepared for her to screw up her darling little face and innocently ask,
“So, did the doctor come and put Grampa Bill down?”
Ah, six year-olds. So adorable.
Don’t let the bedbugs bite!
Bedtime, three nights later…
Okay, sweetie. Sweet dreams. I’ll see you in the morning.
“What does the word ass mean?”
“Ass. What does it mean?”
Ummm… Where have you heard that word?
“I don’t know. Just around.”
(Thanks ever so much, Cake Boss.)
“So, what does it mean?”
“WHAT DOES IT MEAN?”
(I wish I could say I’m joking, but I actually said this)
“Ass means donkey?”
Yes. Yes it does. Sometimes, that’s another word for donkey.
“Interesting. So, instead of saying donkey, I could just say…”
Well, actually, I think maybe you’ve heard people use it to mean ‘butt.’
Yes. Like your bum. Your behind. It means that, too.
I can see why you think that.
“Does it mean anything else?”
Well…. I guess it kind of means ‘jerk,’ too.
“What do you mean?”
Some people use that word to call someone a jerk.
“Like, you’re a jerkish ass?”
That’s not exactly what I was thinking, but sure, I guess so.
“Jerkish ass. I like that!”
I understand why you think so, but actually, you shouldn’t use that word.
“Which word? Jerkish or ass?”
“Oh, okay. Goodnight, Mommy!”
What Annie’s bedtime lacks in terms of cozied-up musings is made up for by way of the best hugs on the face of the planet. Our girl is strong, y’all.
The parenting books do not prepare you for this. Which is probably why they’re gathering dust on the shelves of our bedroom. I’m just fine with that; they were undoubtedly written by jerkish asses, anyway.
Oh, and all you bedbugs? I’d think twice before biting Annie.
I bet she bites back.