Bath time, pyjamaing, scripture reading, and family prayer have become some sort of a drudgery for Rachel. Perhaps drudgery is not the right word because she still enjoys doing those things; she approaches them, however, with a hint of trepidation and is sure to drag her feet all along the way because she knows what comes next.
She started crying this evening soon after we finished reading the scriptures.
"No, mama! No, mama! Noooo!" she she pleaded and then, when her pleas were effectively ignored, started throwing out random suggestions. We shook our heads at each idea of hers since we had already taken care of everything from potty to snack time, "Nack! *pause* Pa-pa! *pause* Wawa! *pause* Go! *pause* Moo-moo! *pause* Nooooooo!"
"Rachel," I said, "It's mommy's turn to talk. We're going to say prayer. You need to be quiet and listen, okay?"
She's typically pretty obedient so she quieted up and we were able to get through most of the prayer. When I started closing the prayer, however, Rachel started wailing again. She's the only child I know who actually wants the prayer to go longer. Any prayer that happens right before bedtime, that is.
"I'm sorry, Rachel," I said, "The wheels of bedtime are already turning...and...it's just that time again."
Andrew looked at me funny. I did just slaughter a great quote "wheels of bedtime?" What? But, I redeemed myself.
"Bedtime alone moves the wheels of history!" I told Rachel, shaking my fist in the air one minute and pounding it soundly on the couch cushion the next.
Andrew and Carolee (who happened to be over) started laughing. Not only did I quote Mussolini, I also quoted Dwight, who, though far less historic, is much more hilarious. Rachel, tired girl that she was, started giggling. Soon her giggles morphed into uncontrolable laughter, with tears of mirth rolling down her cheeks. And then? Then she started bawling.
I don't know if it was from laughing too hard, from worrying that we had stopped laughing with her and started laughing at her, from realizing she had no idea why she was laughing, from sensing that bedtime was (still) inevitable, or from sheer tiredness, but all happiness dissolved and she ended up a miserable little baby.
So I did what I do best with children who are so tired they can't separate their emotions. I put her to bed. And that's where she is now, sleeping like a baby.