Sleepover with a Toddler: 101

Jeffry & Kerri had a hockey game date in Phoenix, so Maxwell was a guest at Grandma & Grandpa’s B&B Saturday night. After dinner, Grandpa dropped Max and Grandma off at Target while he made the trek to Safeway to pick up some groceries. Throughout the store, Max greeted everyone who passed us with a resounding “HI” making sure to reiterate several times until the person responded with the appropriate “hi”.
LESSON 1: Do not allow the strangers in the store to ignore the greetings from the toddler child. Even if they pretend not to notice the very loud salutations, follow the stranger/shopper at a respectable pace allowing the toddler to continue yelling “HI HI HI!” until the stranger/shopper finally gives up and properly responds.
Toward the end of our shopping trip, Max stated “HOME”! and “night-night!” That was a bit of a surprise as it was only 6:15 pm. His normal bedtime is 7:30, but maybe the shopping trip and yelling at customers just wore him out. He asked to depart the cart while still in the store, to which I replied “no”. He abruptly and ever so tenderly brought his open mouth down on my arm allowing me just a bit of the pressure of his perfect little baby teeth, while his crystal blue eyes glanced upward.
LESSON 2: When the little teeth are threatening to break skin, do NOT ask the toddler if he/she really intends on biting his/her grandma. This only baits the toddler into tightening the jaw with a little extra bite!
As soon as we walked through our door, he started in again with the night nights. However, thoughts were that if we went to sleep at 6:30pm, he would arise between 4 and 5 AM. So, we read books and relaxed and talked – each activity being pelted with interruptions of “night night?” Finally made it to 7:30 and he was excitedly dancing his Happy Feet dance as I pulled out his favorite night blanket. He began climbing up the sides of the play yard while I was picking him up! Never saw anything like it. After I stood him in the bed, he looked over at his sound machine with the instructions “ON, ON”. Just as I hit the button for his ocean sounds, he dropped to his belly, tucked his arms in, butt up in the air and gave us one more “night night”. Covered him up and never heard another peep out of him.
Until 2:09 a.m.
LESSON 3: Do not assume the time is later in the morning than it is, just because the toddler is ready to play This only amps up the energy level and makes you realize just how tired you really are.
I awoke to gentle “hi hi” peppered with little bouts of fussiness. I thought it must be 6 a.m., so up I got and changed his diaper (good thing). Max climbs up into our bed while I disposed of the aforementioned diaper and washed up. In the bathroom, I glance over at the clock (yes – I keep a clock in the bathroom!) and see 2:09 a.m. Back to the bedroom where I see Max faking snoring away in the middle of the bed. I cover him up and lie down next to him. After about 5 minutes I hear soft singing from the supposedly sleeping babe. Singing gets louder and he is keeping time by kicking my arm … tap tap tap.
LESSON 4: Do not ask a toddler if he is sleeping. He/she will lie and say “yes”.
I ask him “do you want to go night night back in your bed” and am answered with an affirmative shake of the head. Back to his bed where he curls up in a little lump, is covered up with the favorite night time blanket, and off to sleepy land he goes.

Grandpa says he awoke some time later with perhaps, a bad dream. He was softly sobbing and was comforted in the arms of Grandpa while patting Grandpa’s back as Grandpa patted his. Back to his bed and off to sleep until a bit after 6 a.m.

I was drifting in and out of sleep when I hear a crunchy sound. Crunch Crunch Crunch. Still in and out of sleep, I catch some dream like designs on the ceiling and walls which I also think is part of my dream. The sweet little jabbering only adds to the dreamlike state.
LESSON 5: Make certain the toddler bed is nowhere near a plastic container of baby wipes, which, when squeezed with little hands, make a CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH sound. Also, do not allow the toddler bed with reach of the noise machine which goes from oceans to rains to heartbeats (sometimes rapidly) and, when just the right button is pushed, can rotate a light show that when pointed directly at you across the room, can sear your retinas. Last, do not place the toddler bed in front of a large mirror which allows the toddler to delight in seeing a friend in the mirror, and then carrying on a conversation with that new friend for thirty minutes.
After a diaper change and some hugs, Max was ready to eat! I know this because he kept saying “EAT EAT EAT!” While I dutifully scrambled eggs and sliced bananas, he was busy standing up in his little school desk to visit with his mirror friend in the mixing bowl.

Mommy soon came to gather the little guy and his belongings.  A very successful first sleepover!

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