Parenting

Tale of the Short Night

On the morning my wife and kids flew to Florida, all of us had to be up at 5am and on the road to O'Hare by 5:30. My 3-year-old, Smartypants, refused to go to bed the night before. She was either nervous or anxious or both, or she was simply being herself. In any case, she went to bed late.

In the morning, when the time was right, with the car packed, the engine heating up, I entered Smartypants' bedroom and prepared for a battle. Children don't especially like to have their sleep interrupted (at least mine don't), and I expected a healthy dose of fussing and whining and toddler trickery.

I kissed her forehead and said, "Wake up, knucklehead." But she didn't move. I said, "Time to get up, monkey." She didn't move. I began to say it again when...

Her eyes popped open, she stared at me, and she sat straight up, smiled, wiped her eyes, and said,

"Wow!  Was that a short night."  And she jumped out of bed, ready to go.

As for me, I laid there wondering what the heck had just happened. To this day, I'm not certain the creature I awoke was the same daughter I put to bed the night before. Only time will tell.

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