I don't think that "belater" is a word but it's my blog so, hey, I dub it acceptable. Moses is at the height of excuses to delay, lengthen, or avoid altogether, bedtime. At least, I hope that this is the height - that is the problem with first children - you never know how much worse it can get. It's very similar to a women's first labor. I definitely experienced a great deal more fear with the second labor then the first, due to knowing how much worse it gets. I'm just hoping that it works the opposite way for kids but I have my doubts.
Anyway, every time we squelch one excuse with threats that "if you ask for one more drink you lose all your trains", or some such other train-related punishment, he comes up with a newer, shinier, more innovative type of excuse.
The saga began with several weeks of asking for the proverbial "wast, wast drink". It is very hard to turn down a 3 year old who is "so, so, so, vawwy, vawwy, fiiirrrssty." But we've managed to eradicate that request by offering him 3 drinks before he get into bed (one milk, one apple juice and one water).
Then came the "one, wast, wast, wast, bwank bwank". At current count I believe that there are 9 "bwank bwanks" and he usually wakes up with a wet head from all the sweat. Tied in with the extra bwank bwank requests is usually a request for a new shirt or new pants or, my favorite, new socks (all regardless of proper seasonality).
The most manipulative request we receive is, "I just want yoooouuuuu." Very hard to resist but upon hearing for the 150,000th time I have learned that it is most often followed by begging for candy or some other pleasure that is certainly not as innocent as "yooouuuu". Also manipulative is the request to kiss, "my sister, Lily." This would be sweet except that she's usually been in bed sleeping for hours already.
The most spiritually manipulative request is, "Can we sing the Fr. Ed's church song?" One night while obliging my son's request for "spiritual hymns" he insisted that I also "do the drums" and so I pattered away on the side of the bed. He tearfully reacted with, "No, mommy. I want the song with wots and wots of people." So much for obliging with church songs. I can do the drums but I can not split my voice into lots and lots of people.
The longest-standing belater is that he is scared of the monkeys. This only happens when daddy is home to shoot them. Daddy will come in and "shoot" under the bed. Lately this has grown from, "And daddy, shoot the monkeys. OK, now the little ones. OK, and maybe the bird." The bird?
Also when daddy is home he has added to the bedtime routine a "cwash and a fwie". Translated: "a crash and a fly". The 'crash' is where David sits on the ground and Moses runs into him, knocking him over. The 'fly' is the typical "airplane game" with the added instruction (added every night, even though we think it's a given now) that he wants to crash into the side of the bed. This crash into the side of the bed takes place in slow-motion with many contorted facial expressions and usually ends up looking like road-kill with rigor mortis.
"Most Creative" prize would have to be awarded to last night's belater. "Oh, I have a great idea! Maybe you can set the timer and then I can get some quadeet (chocolate) milk!" Wow that really is a great idea! I love to fill my son up with sugar and caffeine as I lay him into his bed!
The second, and this definitely wins the prize for "Most Befuddled Parents Belater", also took place last night. I will let you imagine our responses to his questions, keeping in mind that they were mostly along the lines of, "huh?"
"Um, can you change this dark? Please, I don't like this dark. I want a different one."
We eventually construed that he wanted, for no particular reason, the light bulb changed on his lamp.
But I really knew that I'd won the battle (though certainly not the war) when he called me into his room after he had been told NOT to ask for any of the above things or else punishment would be swiftly and dramatically handed down. He stood there stammering for at least 3 minutes while I badgered him with, "What? What do you want? Why did you call me in?" Without his old stand-by excuses as belater-options his final admittance of defeat, complete with collapsing onto the bed, was, "I...I...I (sigh) give up." It was a sweet but short-lived victory, as the three-year-old's well of creativity never dries up.