Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why Toddlers Should Go To Bed Before Midnight

SUBTITLE: Eatin' to Live

Those of you familiar with my blog know that both Big Brother and Little Brother have fairly restricted interests when it comes to eating (at least when they're at home). If you need to catch-up on their eating exploits, just click on the "Eating" label to your right.

Right now I'd say that Big Brother and Little Brother are tied in terms of the number of different kinds of food they'll eat. (Yes, it's more than 2.)

However, Big Brother has eclipsed Little Brother lately in terms of actually eating WHEN IT'S TIME TO EAT.

On many a day, Little Brother eats like a hummingbird that doesn't eat. He just bounces from place to place without actually putting anything IN to his mouth.

I don't know how he gets enough calories to keep going sometimes. Thank you, gummy vitamins.

Instead, he'd much prefer arranging the blankie and small cadre' of stuffed animals that he insists on bringing to the table. Which, in turn, if we're not careful, prompts Big Brother to want to go bring a truckload of legos, magna-logs, and Transformers to the table.

When the dust settles, Big Brother has usually consumed about 3 corn muffins, some fruit, and chocolate milk, whereas Little Brother has downed his milk and pinched the top off of a muffin (or five). That's about it.

The night before last we finished the bedtime routine at about 9pm. Big Brother was out like a light.

Little Brother, on the other hand, was screaming in protest, "Mom-E rock (in the rocking chair)." "Dad-E rock." "Want Mom-E." "Want Dad-E."

We let this go on for awhile, knowing that he can settle himself down.

Only he didn't.

At about 9:40, I went in to find Little Brother sitting up in his crib. He seemed pretty congested, which I thought wasn't helping him fall asleep. Given that he can't blow his own yet, I opted to torture help him by bulb suctioning his nose.

Despite the screams and tears, after it was over I asked him if he felt better, to which he replied, "Yeah!" in his characteristic soft, sweet, I-feel-so-good-now-like-I-just-had-a-big-poop kind of voice. So, I rocked him briefly and put him back to bed.

10:00 rolls around and he's right back at it. By now, CSI:Miami is on, and Mom-E and I can't hear one of the only two tv shows we watch with any regularity over the screams.

At this point, we opt to dim the lights, and I let Little Brother rest on my shoulder for the duration of the show. (Don't worry, his head was buried in my shoulder so he couldn't see anything.)

By 11:00, the show is over, and Little Brother is out in my arms. So back to bed we go.

Within 5 minutes, he's back to screaming again. By now, we're starting to think he's getting sick (because this is very unusual for him). I notice that he's just a little clammy, and suddenly it dawns on me.

The kid is hungry.

He'd had only milk for dinner, and Mom-E said he had fared little better during the day.

"Little Brother," I asked. "are you hunny (his word for hungry)?"

"Yeah!" he exclaimed (insert voice).

Over the next few moments he wolfed down a granola bar, 2 prunes, a few bites of corn muffin, yogurt, and a yogurt drink.

In between pretty much every bite, he would exclaim, "That's yummy."

"Of course it is, Little Buddy." I thought. "That's why they call it food. Since you need it to live, it helps that it tastes good."

He also paraded around the kitchen, taking great pride in throwing all of his trash away. I can't help but notice that Little Brother has more energy than Mom-E and I, COMBINED right now.

By now it's midnight. Little Brother happily returns to his crib without further screams. Nope, he's actually now SINGING nonsensical syllables in his crib while Mom-E and I are getting ready for bed. He was happy as a clam, and eventually passed out on his own (probably from sheer exhaustion.)

Note to self: Don't forget to feed the Little Brother.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,


  1. Good call on the hungry! Gotta love the fixes that cure.

  2. Awwwwww. At least you now know that he will eat when he gets hungry enough.

  3. Lately my son doesn't go to sleep. he's in a toddler bed so I have to keep putting him back in. It wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't working some OT after they're all supposed to be down.

    We can play this dance until 9:30. Bedtime is at 7:45ish.

    We thought it was because he likes to play with his sister when she comes to bed.

    Nope. Its because he hand't take his evening poop and he doesn't go to sleep until he does. Then he doesn't tell me that he did and he won't go to sleep because he has poop.

    Just something in case you're out of granola and prunes.

  4. Oh, poor little brother he was just hungry. It saddens me to think of all the children that go to bed hungry and makes me so grateful that we could provide for our children. Rosi

  5. aw little brother! I agree, it is hard to sleep on an empty stomache! love, aunt-e

  6. It is crazy when something like that happens and they get everyone out of routine. I know if feels to me like it is going to be like that forever but usually settles down!