I love "Grumpy Michael"6:00 AM
Don't get me wrong when you read the title. I do not love when Michael is grumpy because I can't understand what he wants, or he's not getting his way, or he doesn't want to share. That grumpy Michael pushes my buttons and reminds me that not all days of motherhood are made of sunshine and
No, I love sleepy-grumpy Michael.
We don't have much of a nighttime routine. We never have. Every time I try to launch one it gets shot down with travel or Michael not wanting to go about what I think should be the nighttime routine. I mean, as much as "I'm the parent", I can't seem to force Michael to sit down and read a book with me before he goes to sleep.
While I love this idea, and hope he takes to it when he's older, if we spend half of the afternoon getting to know what the brown bear sees, singing "Jesus Loves Me", and wishing the moon goodnight... why must I force him to do it at bed time?
Lately he seems to like to watch an episode of Sesame Street before he goes to sleep. Something about those characters (especially Elmo and "Elmo's World") get him in the mood for bed. Sesame street, a snack cup full of cereal (rice chex or cheerios preferred), and a cup of milk. The only trick is getting him to sit in his chair rather than stand directly in front of our TV.
However, once Elmo goes off, it's like he knows immediately what's about to happen. He knows he's sleepy, knows that it's time for bed... but he has that last hoorah of trying to fight it. The "nos" begin, "more Elmo" is asked for with "please" in between the sleepy tears... but he's ready. And after we are finished brushing his teeth (which is a battle off and on), he doesn't fight me when I tell him it's time to lie down in the "big bed" (aka our family bed, not to be confused with the "green bed", which is his bed and still only used for nap time).
There are some nights where I honestly get annoyed. Where I don't understand his protests when he so clearly is ready for bed.
But most nights, I just smile in spite of it all. I love sleepy-grumpy Michael because he wants to stay awake. He doesn't want to miss a moment of what might happen if he shuts his eyes and gives in to dreaming. He wants to love on Luna a little longer, or try to color more toys (instead of his coloring books), or he wants just one more snack. He tries to hold on to the day as long as he possibly can.
And while many parents may want to rush off their children to bed so they can get some things done (and sometimes this is my attitude)... I have started really loving this part of the day/evening/night.
Why? Because to me, Michael wanting to fight his sleepiness in order to stay awake is a special kind of love. It means that he enjoys his day. Even days where I may lose my temper, or days where we can't go outside because it's raining, or days I drag him around to run errands; even on those days he still wants to stay awake just a little longer.
I can hear him already when he's older. "Five more minutes?"