Bedtimes remain contested territory with 4-year old Kasia in spite at our attempts at consistency, firmness etc. Lately, I have been emphasizing that her daily protests and tantrums over having to go to bed -- and no, we're not going to read just one more book, and no, you may not get one more drink of water, etc. etc. etc. -- are a waste of her energy and unproductive because 8:00 o'clock is bedtime and nothing she says or does can change that. Look, I say pointing, it is coming up on 8:00 o'clock so you might as well accept gracefully that you are going to have to go pee and get into your PJs and go to bed, rather than make all this pointless fuss that is frankly unpleasant for everyone.
So tonight, after a particularly grumpy session, I again say that her saying all those mean things to me is, well, mean.
And she responds, "I am only doing that because you're being so mean to me!"
To which I naturally, and now somewhat routinely respond, "Don't get mad at me because it is 8:00 o'clock and bedtime. Look, it has nothing to do with me. It's just the clock telling us it's time to go to bed, so what is the point of getting so mad at me?"
She seems to accept this somewhat, examining the clock closely as I point out the big hand on the 12 and the little hand on the 8, and settles down enough to actually lie down on the bed, head on the pillow, and is silent for a long pause. Long enough to make me hopeful that she is in fact about to go to sleep. And then a tired, quiet voice asks, "Dad?"
"Can we get a new clock?"