A Bedtime Story
As any parent or seasoned Auntie would know, putting a toddler to bed is serious business. But as a Long-Distance Auntie and DebutAunt, I have rarely had the opportunity to observe or even facilitate bedtime deep from within the trenches of my niece Allison's room.
Luckily, there's a first time for everything. Allison's 2nd birthday is fast-approaching, and to celebrate, I traveled back home for the weekend to share in the little one's joint birthday festivities at Chuck-E-Cheese's. But long before the party even started, Allison and I got to spend some QualAuntie time together as I ran the bedtime operation solo for the first time. Here's what I learned from bedtime with Allison:
Do Eat Paste: Leading up to bedtime was the easiest part of the whole ordeal by far. Not only does Allison love brushing her teeth, she loves eating her organic edible toddler toothpaste while washing her hands and feet too. Oral and general hygiene: Check.
PJs and Pampers: Allison loves a fresh pair of PJs, almost as much as she hates getting her diaper changed. A more experienced Auntie probably would have figured out another way to calm her cries at the sound of the words, "diaper change time!" but I resorted to iced-water bribery and PJ choice blackmail. As in, "Emo (Auntie in Korean) will give you iced-water and let you choose your own jammies after diaper change!" Smooth, I know.
Just One More Story: Allison loves her books. Especially during bedtime. I was given strict instructions by the parentals to read Allison three stories maximum, and then when she showed signs of tiring, to quickly persuade her into her crib. But Allison, smart cookie that she is, could immediately smell what I was up to. After multiple readings of "Goodnight Gorilla" and "Mrs. McNosh Does Her Big Wash," Allison sweetly asked for just one more story. I couldn't resist.
Tough Love Crib: An hour and a half later, I carried Allison screaming and crying to her crib. Panicked but determined, I turned on her favorite mobile and rushed out of the room. Listening to her cry for her mom outside of the door was heart-wrenching, but just as mom and dad said she would, Allison quickly fell asleep.
Victorious and exhausted, I went into the next room and slept like a baby as well, hoping for sweet dreams for the both of us.
Aunties, what have your bedtime experiences been like? Any tips or things I should keep in mind for next time?
Love, Allison's devoted LDA
Published: September 6, 2011