My daughter Lainey is five years old and I love her. We just spent a week in Illinois with the grandparents and the kid is having a vacation hangover.
“I’m scared,” Lainey called out from her bedroom the other night.
“Lainey, it’s your bedroom," I yelled from the living room. “Go to sleep!”
“I miss Nana,” she whimpered.
My wife gave me the "poor baby" look and sauntered over to Lainey’s room. She sang the song "Baby Mine," from Dumbo, and replaced Baby with Lainey, a favorite. The lullaby knocked the kid out for a few hours, but at 12:30 she woke us up whining.
“Mom!” She called.
“What do you want?” I sprang from my bed, and stumbled to hers.
“Can I sleep in your bed?”
“No!” I snapped. “Go back to sleep.” I walked back to bed and laid down.
“There’s a cup of water by your bed!”
“Get it yourself!” I shouted. “In the bathroom.”
“That’s a fake cry!” I yelled. “Stop it!”
“Daddy’s being mean,” she said. “I want mommy.”
“Don’t go,” I begged my wife.
“Ryan, she’s barely awake.”
I heard the Baby Mine lullaby again and walked back to Lainey’s room.
“Don’t sleep in here,” I warned.
“What?” My wife said. “You’re acting crazy.”
I got back in bed and pouted to myself. The kid was treated like a princess all week and it would take some discipline to bring her back to reality. If my wife slept in Lainey’s room, she would support the behavior, a pattern that could last all week, maybe longer. To my relief my wife soon laid in bed beside me.
“Goodnight,” I said, leaned over and gave her a kiss.
“Night, Ry,” she whispered.
Great. If the sleep thing is fixed I can begin work on the sugar addiction. But don’t get me wrong—it sure was nice to see the grandparents!