Pink P doesn't really sleep at night. For the first year of her life, she woke up consistently at 10, 1 and 4. Even as a tiny baby, it must have been clear to her that she had to carve out a space for herself in the midst of the chaos that is her older brother. Though I complained bitterly about getting up three times a night for baby Pink, I was secretly glad she figured out a way to assert herself and insert herself into the peaceful spaces.
I wish I could say much has changed since then, that her brother is responding well to various interventions and that the balance of family time and attention is closer to "normal." But, I can't. While it's true we are slowly but surely making progress, it is slow and our way is marked with innumerable pitfalls and setbacks.
But still, Pink P perseveres.
Last night the task at hand included 20 cupcakes for Sky's class. Sky's birthday means Sky gets to make the cupcakes. Fair enough, right? Not for Pink. She has to be in the middle of things. And, since Sky's in the throes of his Great Fall Regression, my attempts to elicit teamwork and camaraderie between the two of them were doomed from the start. In the end, Sky agreed to let Pink P put in the cupcake liners. Then he demanded she go play with Stow while he did the rest.
Pink did as she was told, but throughout evening play time and the bed time routine she insisted I let her help ice the cupcakes. I explained that the cupcakes needed to cool, so I would have to ice them late at night when they were sleeping. Still, Pink P wouldn't give up, and one thing I know about Pink is that she will not stop until she is sure she's been heard and understood. On this night, she wouldn't go to sleep until I agreed to try to wake her when icing time came.
As she burrowed under her covers, she said, "Mommy, you'd better wake me up, or I will be very sad."
"Okay, I'll try, but if you don't get up, it's not my problem," I replied, assuming that by 11 p.m. she'd be dead to the world.
And she was.
Still a promise is a promise, so once the cupcakes were cooled, I went into her room and said in a neither purposely loud nor purposely quiet voice, "Icing time."
Pink, who had been sleeping deeply (and snoring) just moments before, shot out of bed, clearly not awake but determined to ice the cupcakes. She walked into the door and then the wall but somehow made it safely to the kitchen, where she proceeded to ice three or four cupcakes before collapsing onto the couch.
And that, dear friends, is how I know Pink's going to be just fine.