Arienette was sleepy. I could see it in her eyes, as she tried to keep playing. “It’s time for bed” I told her.
She burst into tears. “No, no! Be a good girl!” she promised through eyes turning red and wet with panic and sadness. She desperately tried to understand what she had been doing wrong. “No nuhnight, I’m not sleepy!” she insisted. I knew she didn’t mean it, but that doesn’t make it easier. I’m not a sadist. I don’t like to see my little girl cry, but no amount of her screaming and begging was going to make me let her stay up when I knew she needed sleep.
“Come here.” I said gently. She came to me, and I lifted her into my lap. I told her to “give me loves”, and she put her head on my shoulder for a moment before looking into my eyes, tears falling down her little face, and told me she would be a good girl. I told her that she was being a good girl. That it was still time for bed. Then, she asked if she could look outside. I lifted her so she could look out the window, and I kissed her on the belly. She giggled.
I took her down, and I started attacking her face and neck with kisses. This is what I call “I’m gonna get ALL the kissies!”. She was laughing hard, and saying “No all the kissies!” When i stopped, she was smiling, and she lay in my arms, looking at me. She told me not to tickle her. I kissed her on the nose. She laughed again. I told her I love her, and she said “Love you too, darlin mummy.” Then I told her it is still time for bed.
You know what she did?
She got off my lap, went to the bathroom, and asked me to turn on her nightlights.
All because I took the time to cuddle her and let her know I love her and it wasn’t a punishment. She is only 3, and she teaches me something every day.