Sunshine is four years old and has taken up screaming as a hobby. Her performance is getting quite good, unfortunately we're so worn out from the practice that it's hard to appreciate all the nuances. My husband reminds me that Brighteyes also screamed a lot at four. I remind him that I had two children in diapers and was temporarily insane at the time.
Recently Sunshine has added post-bedtime screaming to her repertoire. Last night was the third night in a row of an hour screaming. I had comforted her, Daddy had comforted her, it was my turn again.
"She's remembering all the things she didn't get done today. That's what's making her fussy." my husband said as he handed me off.
Poor Brighteyes had finally fallen asleep from sheer exhaustion when I went in again. Sunshine was screaming something that no one could decipher, as usual. I finally made out "compost pile". Oh yeah, I had told her to go put a banana peel in the compost pile this afternoon. I told her it was all right, we would find the compost pile tomorrow when the sun was up. She didn't buy it. I told her it was too dark to do anything but go to sleep. She didn't buy it.
I decided a little verbal ju-jitsu was called for. "Yes, you do have things to do. You have places to go to, people to play with, and they're all waiting for you in Dreamland. You don't want to keep them waiting, do you? The quickest way for you to get there is to go to sleep."
Wonder of wonders, she bought it. She quieted down, scrunched her eyes closed and grinned. I tucked her in, told her to go play with her friends and left the room. When my husband checked in later, she looked at him with a sweet sleepy smile, closed her eyes and went to sleep.
Sigh. If only it was working tonight!