Tuesday, July 07, 2009

As my momma likes to say, I may have been born yesterday, but I wasn't born last night.

Though Zeke usually wakes up during the night, he has generally been pretty good at going to bed. We'll play after school, maybe at the park or at the local community pool, and he'll have fun and get nice and tired and be more than ready to go to sleep by 8:15 or so. We'll watch 15 minutes of Elmo, and then I'll say, "OK, baby, time for night-night." And he'll trot off to his room and I'll put him in bed and he'll say "bye-bye, Mama," and lie down and go to sleep.

Easy as pie.

But since Jason has been only home on the weekends, Zeke has been all excited about Daddy being home and has been going to bed a little later than usual. Plus he's starting to resist it, and in a way that shows he's a master of manipulation.

Another recent development is that he has basically stopped eating. Apparently, I did the same thing at his age. My concerned mother called the pediatrician for advice, who noted that he wasn't aware of many middle-class children starving to death, so she shouldn't worry, I would eat when I was hungry.

Even though I know this is sound and rational advice, the not eating drives me insane. I feel like I'm constantly trying to put together enticing plates of food for him, and he'll have a bite of pancake or a sliver of strawberry and then start throwing things on the floor.

Two nights ago, when Jason was home, I put Zeke in his bed and he made the sign for "hungry" and said, "cheese?"

"You want some cheese?" I asked.


I got him out of bed, sat him on the couch next to Jason, and went and cut up some little cubes of cheese and arranged them on a plate.

Zeke looked at the plate, grinned at me, and started bouncing on the couch and playing.

Realizing I had been hoodwinked, I put him back in his bed for the night.

But then last night I fell for it again. I think I'm so obsessed with getting him to eat something that I'm willfully overlooking the fact that he's playing me like a fucking Stradivarius.

Tonight after school we went and bought him a little kid's slide that I found on Craigslist. When we got home, I set it up in the playroom downstairs and he proceeded to slide and jump and giggle and wear himself out for over an hour. I gave him a good dinner, practically shoving hot dog pieces (Hebrew National, natch) and bits of pear and bread down his gullet, to make sure he was nice and full. And he actually ate everything on his plate.

I put him in bed at 8:30, and he again made the sign for "hungry" and asked for cheese. And I said, "no, sweetie, you've had plenty to eat, it's time to lie down and go night-night."

He fussed a bit, clearly surprised that I revealed myself to be something less than a complete moron. But I sang him a couple of songs and he finally settled down and went to sleep.

Mm-hmm. That's right, baby. I'm not stupid.

Or at least, not that stupid.


  1. Awwww.

    And I am SO stealing that phrase from your mama... love it!

  2. Yeah, that's a mama-ism that never ceases to crack me up.

  3. Anonymous8:28 AM

    Maurice waited until he was 6 to start this "I'm hungry" before bedtime routine. Since he gets literally worn out at baseball camp all day, he comes home, takes a shower, eats a HUGE man-sized portion of dinner, gets about an hour of tv, & then it's time for bed. But like clockwork, every night at 9, he pulls that, "But I'm very hungry" routine.

    My grocery bill has doubled in the past 2 months alone.