I won!

Aren’t kids the weirdest things?

Over the past couple of days our son has developed the new habit of starting a huge battle the very moment he sees his bed. We take turns in bringing him to bed, and today was my turn. He was the sweetest boy this whole afternoon, followed by an asparagus feeding frenzy for dinner. All good until this point. “Do you want milk before going to bed?” Sure he wanted milk. So mommy made him some warm milk, which he drank eagerly.

I was already worried about the next step – this did not go so well the last three days. I was quite surprised that I managed to change diapers, brush teeth and put on his sleeping outfit without any argument. A sign of hope? I sing him a song (the classic German tut tut 1, 2, 3) and tell him a story about himself. He agrees with every word. It seems like he will be easy today. Forget it. The moment I said “and now we go to sleep”, the bubble burst. He almost turned green, like the miniature version of The Hulk. He ripped off his sleeping bag, and then started wiggling his way out of bed. Did I mention that he was screaming? That he does in German, too. “Nein, nein, nein, nein!” This clear sign of disagreement with the situation is interspersed with the demand “dahin!!!”, which basically means he wants to go to the living room. I refuse. It’s bedtime. No negotiations. The wiggling, screaming and despair continues. This fight lasts an hour or so. After this, he suddenly moves to the other side of the bed, while dragging his stuffed rabbit along with him. He decides that ‘rabbit’ needs to pet him on his cheeks to dry his tears. He utters some incomprehensible gibberish – a clear sign that the battle is almost over. Ten minutes later he sleeps, while keeping rabbit in a stranglehold. God parenting is exhausting. (Everything will be easier with two, right?)

I’m not sure what’s going on in that little head of his. It’s easy to start developing a grudge against kids in such situations. It took me a while to shift my perspective from “why are you doing this to me” to “why are you so distressed and how can I make you feel better”. I still don’t understand fully what is going on, but it ensures that I’ll still love him tomorrow.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of one but almost two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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