Mommy kiss me. These are the last sweet words Riley says to me at bedtime each night as I leave the room and gently close the door. And then he screams and cries until I come back in and he says the three angelic words again. Mommy kiss me. And again and again. Each time I go back into the bedroom I’m amazed at (1) the maturity of his manipulative powers at the tender age of two and (2) my inability to walk away.
In my defense, Riley has a roommate. The boys have been sharing a room since our summer vacation last August. It’s been mostly the best idea we ever had. Mostly. There are moments, however, when we wonder how two reasonably intelligent parents could come up with something so idiotic. Most unfortunately, our tried and true cry it out rule is tough to carry out when one or the other of the boys has to endure the torture.
But it’s more than that. I go back in because I’m a pushover. How can I resist, especially when he says “Mommy kiss me” with such clarity and intent? (Speech therapy is doing wonders!) I go back in because sometimes we forget that Riley is only two. Dylan goes to sleep easily (at least for now), but when Dylan was two, bedtime was positively nightmarish. On some nights, the time we spent getting him to go to sleep lasted longer than the time we were actually awake during the day. How quickly we forget! I go back in because if I give him one more kiss and hug and if I sing “Moon Moon Moon” one more time, surely he’ll go to sleep. Right.
I can’t help but be reminded of that new book called “Go The F**k To Sleep.” It’s such a cliché that kids are impossible to get to sleep, and it’s so bleeping true. Last night I actually quit after going back in five times. Riley was showing no signs of giving up, and my repeated attempts were giving Dylan a second wind. I sent Mike in begrudgingly to finish the job with one of his much-cooler-than-mine bedtime songs, “The Crystal Ship” by the Doors. It took him a little while, but he did it.
He’s the Closer and I’m the Chump. It’s okay, though. In ten years, or maybe even in ten months, I’ll forget the nightly torment and remember the three loving words that made it all worth it. Mommy kiss me.