Monday, July 23

Cracker = Popcorn?

So, when a 19-month old says "popcorn" it can sound a lot like "cracker." This is critical, critical information. Why? I'll tell you why.

Last night Toby started yelling from his room after he'd been asleep for a few hours. This is unusual, as he's a great sleeper. It was about 11pm and Steph and I had just gotten into bed. After he didn't calm down right off, I went in and talked to him. He asked to get up, I said no. I offered him a hug, checked his diaper, his temperature, the usual. He seemed a bit cold, so I went and got him pants, put the pants on, and then asked him if he could go to sleep now. He said "yeaah." Which I thought was pretty cool. And he seemed to go to sleep.

Not so! At about 11:40, he started yelling again. We called gently from the other room, tried to calm him down without giving him too much attention, etc. He didn't really sound distressed, but he also didn't stop. At midnight I went in to calm him again. Gave him a hug, put him back down, asked if he could go to sleep now. "yeeaah." Great!

Not so! At 12:20, the yelling resumes. This time Steph bails and goes to the attic. He's calling "momma," so Steph says a quick goodnight through the door. Again, this is all very, very unusual for Toby. He's usually a great sleeper. The yelling continues. At this point, I really don't want to turn this into some sort of "get daddy to come into my room over and over" game, so I wait him out. Finally, at 1am, after he's been yelling for 40 minutes straight while I lie in the bedroom next door listening, I decide to go in one last time. He's been yelling at the top of his lungs for more than an hour all together, so I expect him to be pretty upset.

Not so! The second I'm in there, he calms right down, and in a perfectly normal tone of voice says "up. cracker cracker cracker!" I of course say "no, it's time to go to sleep. I'm not coming back in here. Can you go to bed now?" He says "yeaaah", lies down promptly and gets quiet.

I have no idea if he woke up again because at that point I joined Steph in her studio upstairs and we both slept in our old bed, tossing and turning in the heat, until he woke up around 5:30 for the day. Needless to say sleep was pretty crap.

So... where is this going?

In the morning I woke up and stumbled downstairs. Toby greeted me with "dada! cracker!" Well at least he's consistent, I thought. And I wondered if it was healthy to be so fixated on crackers. He was eating them, though, so at least his needs were being met.

After we'd been up for a while I heard the sound of him moving something heavy and made of glass, which always gets one's attention. He had found our empty popcorn bowl in the TV room. We had made popcorn the night before when we watched a movie. And he started saying "cracker cracker cracker" very excitedly. At which point I realized he was saying "popcorn popcorn popcorn." And at which point I also realized that at least 60% of the yelling last night, and my night of crappy sleep, was caused by the smell of popcorn in the air, which apparently drives Tobias into a frenzy. He LOVES popcorn, and gets very excited about it at playgroup every weekday.

So, the lesson? Make sure he's warm enough, of course (which is difficult in an old house where the nighttime temperature fluctuates a lot.) But more importantly, don't ever EVER EVER cook popcorn at night.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Jesse Kates *