Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Night Proper Parenting was Pushed Aside

Yesterday Theo was still asleep when I picked him up at 6:30. Oh boy, I thought. This is going to be a fun night.
Sure enough, he spent the next few hours hyper, but in a good mood. Laughing and playing with the cats a lot. Ate cereal, refused the pasta I made for dinner.

After his bath and jammies, I was surprised when he eagerly went to bed when I said "bed time." He ran to his bed and plopped himself in it. He made me read three different books, rather than his usual one book three times, and after we did our good night routine, I shut the light and headed for the shower. I couldn't believe Theo was in bed at his normal time after his late nap.

But as I immersed myself in hot-shower happiness, I heard footsteps of a little boy making mischief around the house. Luckily, Joe, who had worked late, got home just then, so I stayed in the shower.

After I came out, I told Theo to get back in bed. Instead, he went to the fridge and opened the door. I hoped he wouldn't see the donuts I asked Joe to pick me up on the way home. Instead, his eye fixated on the pot of leftover pasta from a few hours before. Just for kicks, I took the lid off. And off he went, eating cold shell pasta from the pot. Standing there, fridge door open, little hands swiftly scooping shells by the handful.

Joe and I stood there watching our silly boy. Man, can that kid eat. I took the pot out and brought it to the table. It was 11 PM now. He sat there eating and eating and eating. I figured eventually he'd have to stop. But he didn't. And the whole time he ate, he smiled and danced in his chair. It was such a joy to watch him that I abandoned the nagging voice telling me we both needed to get to bed. Besides, it was whole wheat pasta.

He never did stop on his own, but when he started throwing macaroni at the cats, it was my cue to put the protester back in bed.

And then I ate donuts.

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