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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Art of List Making

I love my little girl. Her laugh, her chubby thighs, the way she says, Mama, all literally brighten my day. However, Lucia is not for the faint-hearted. In fact, as she has entered her toddler years, I have often wondered if I unknowingly enlisted in Parenting Boot Camp for Dummies.

My little love has got needs and she lets you know about them…loudly. Most of her wants revolve around the basics: eating, sleeping, and playing. If any one of these three elements is removed from her daily routine, then look out. I have especially come to appreciate that sleep is fundamental to her daily happiness.

Putting Lucia down for a nap is fairly straightforward. She is usually very good about simply lying down and going to sleep. The trick lies in ensuring that I have remembered each and every element necessary to create her “sleep environment.”

This list of requirements is no laughing matter. Forget even one element, and you will undoubtedly find me running around my house like a crazed woman, counting things off on my fingers.


First off, it is of critical importance that all members of her posse be present and accounted for, including: Heffy, Bear, Baby, Puppy, and Elmo. After much debate with my husband last night, I finally realized around 10:00 p.m. that Lucia's new My Little Pony Unicorn had been added to the group. The pony is "priddy", so I probably should have seen that one coming.

Next are the multiple blankets. These accompany my daughter both to bed and most everywhere we go.

Other necessities include, but are not limited to a:

Pillow
Nightlight
White noise machine
Ensuring that the light in the aquarium is turned off
Closing all of the shades to ensure a night-time like sleeping experience
Warm milk
Her brother's nightlight

Like I said, she's not for the beginner parent or babysitter...

...but, my little girl can make it all worth it in an instant.

As for me, especially as I've gotten older, I require very little to fall asleep. Give me one or two minutes in front of the TV, and I am out like a light.

It's a gift.

-Francesca
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59 comments:

Lara said...

I can certainly relate. My Sophie is the same way, no matter how I try to make her get rid of at least a few blankets and stuffed animals. :)

Jillene said...

My H is the same way. The bad part is she is almost 7 so I see no end in sight.

Heather, aka Jake's Mommy said...

She's just a princess in training! :-)

mommy4life said...

Funny, my oldest and I were discussing my toddler last night and her sleeping "necessities", which currently include nightlight, prayers, 3 teddy bears, 3 care bears, 1 kitty, 1 bunny, and blankie, so I can relate. I think she is trying to get a bigger bed...

tiburon said...

1. I think I have established that I love a good list.

2. I also understand the importance of a posse.

3. That little girl with the teeth should totally be worth it :)

Kristina P. said...

How could you possibly say no to that face? Because I hate children, I could, but how could you?

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

Yes! My kids are the same way! They've got to have certain things at bedtime - and if said items are nowhere to be found, there's hell to pay.

B said...

I love the title of this post because I automatically thought, "if list making is an art I am one serious artist."

blueviolet said...

High maintenance much?

forever folding laundry said...

It's one thing to require the posse at bedtime in your own home, but entirely another when you are in, say, a hotel room (or TENT). Lucia's entourage would require an additional seat on the airplane! I feel your pain, my friend.

~Keri

Meg said...

Wow! That's quite a list!

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

first of all, she is just gorgeous!
My oldest is very easier to put to bed, too...as long as you follow the steps. The same doll, the same cup for water, and then...the routine. "Snuggle, kiss, hi-5, thumbs up...and so on." She knows it by heart, and if you miss one step, you start over until you get it right. But then...sound asleep.

Unknown Mami said...

I would need a nap after all that prep. She is darn cute!

PictureGirl said...

I can certainly relate. My daughter had so many sleeping friends that it got hard for her to have any space to sleep. I use to go in after she fell asleep and move 'em all to the foot of the bed!

Your little girl is precious.

Erin said...

Very, very sweet post. Her little teeth are so cute!

Patrice said...

She is so so cute, which totally makes it okay that she is a little high maintenance! At least she's cute! ;)

Jenn said...

My Wiggle Man is like that, although I finally got rid of the aquarium after he kept re-starting it. For an hour. While we were sharing a bed in a hotel.

I thought my ears were actually going to bleed.

Somehow, the aquarium "got lost" on the trip home. How sad.

:)

Amy said...

Wow what a great posse to sleep with. I would go crazy trying to find it all. We do not really had that yet. I just put things in there and hope it works. I say yes, write a book. Thanks for stopping by the other day...

He & Me + 3 said...

That is too funny. My kids really didn't need anything to sleep with. We had one that liked a paci and blanky but that only lasted a short time.
With a smile like that I would be running all over town to get her what she wanted for bedtime.
She is just precious!

Gibby said...

OMG, my oldest was the exact same way! The bad news? She is 8 and still needs her "stuff" to go to bed. Good God, I don't even need a bed to fall asleep. Sigh.

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

AWESOME!!! She is my kind of girl, but I am now with you... give me some quiet and noone screaming, "Mommy!" and I am gone... until someone screams, "Mommy!" again.

Mrs. Nurse Boy

Booklover1212 said...

Nani is the same way and I can slowly see Nudge turning to the dark side as well...... May God help us all.... ;-)

~ Jennifer
http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com/

T~T said...

aww - I think me and your daughter would sleep great in a room - I must have peace and quiet - except for the sleep machine and absolute darkness!!!!!!

Lisa Anne said...

My son requires me to "TUCK HIM IN LIKE IN THE MOVIES" nice and tight and to give him just the perfect kiss. It has to be the perfect kiss and hug not to tight not to long not to short etc or he gets up and i have re-tuck in etc. So I feel ya.

She is so cute, isn't it all worth the trouble once you see them happy and smiling even though sometimes, well with my son, you just want to toss them out the car while its moving. lol opps did I say that?

mom-i-am said...

aww but look at that smile. Totally worth it!

Randi Troxell said...

what a serious cutie you have! she is so gorgeous...

Sarah said...

Oh, yes. I can relate, but it's much easier when they can tell you what it is they want. It's easier again when they get old enough to gather their own things, so if something is missing at bedtime, they just have to deal with it! (we do help if the baby is a suspect in the case of the missing lovey)
She's a cutie pie - I love "little teethy" photos.

Earl the Butcher said...

The white noise machine is a must... We have them in both girls' rooms. We're actually looking into one for Daddy's room too for Saturday mornings.

Kathy B! said...

You still need two minutes in front of the tv?! You are SO green. I can be sawing logs before my rump even hits the couch. Keep on honing that gift, Francesca, and you'll be nodding off pre-couch in no time :)

Sevibabyyy said...

That is quite a posse she's got going there.

At least she knows what she wants in life right now!

FrankandMary said...

Oh, my blithe assumption was that all little girls just couldn't wait to take their naps.

Sounds complicated that "being a mother" situation. I'll stick with my cats. What is required for a cat's nap?
Exactly 1 second of consideration and then they are OUT. Thank God it doesn't involve TV watching because I don't have one.
Your daughter is so very adorable that I would go the extra mile too. 24/7, not so much(just being honest~praise the women who know they wouldn't be a good mom so they don't have children~raising hand).~Mary

Megryansmom said...

Kids nowadays are so high maintenance just shaddup and go to sleep! Sheesh if someone were to even suggest a nap for me at midday, I'd be asleep faster than they could finish the offer. Lucia is so darn cute though I could see where you'd want to do whatever to keep her happy.

Tranquility said...

Oh my gosh - look at that little CUTIE with her tiny teeth! What a DOLL!

My goodness - that must be one crowded bed!! At least she has a routine that works for her! ;)

Char said...

sounds like my niece for sure - she's totally into my little pony

Hit 40 said...

She is beautiful!!! I wish I could reach through my computer to hug her. Just adorable. Is that creepy???

Jen said...

Little girls are something else, I tell ya. With a house of mostly boys, my little girls sure makes herself known.

Multiple personalities.. said...

Oh she is just too adorable! That one little tooth just gives her smile so much character. Yes, the tiny little bundles of joy can be quite high maintenance, but one smile and they've got mommy wrapped around their little finger! Thank so much for visiting my blog today!

Scary Mommy said...

Oh, what a little pain in the ass that Lucia is! But she's cute enough to make up for it. :)

Boy Mom said...

"It's a gift!" Ahh Francessca, you're hilarious.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Emma is the same way- puppy? check. Night night? (blanket) check. Multiple books? check. And the list goes on and on. But when it's complete? Quiet, blissful sleeping.

Kailey said...

She is so cute. I think I had a similar list when I was little.

♥georgie♥ said...

LOL@her having a posse that is too cute and she is just precious!

WhisperingWriter said...

That is too cute.

My daughter is just loud. All the time.

Willow Tree said...

I'm with ya! My daughter had a Routine that equaled victory or cost defeat at the highest price (sleep and peace). Her dad tried to alter it one night and came and got me when he couldn't settle her back down. He said, you'd think I BIT her! Ah yes, my little Banshee, God love her. "The Routine" always makes me laugh, because I think of Ross and Monica.

Did I ever tell you X thought I was narcoleptic? He couldn't figure out how I could fall asleep like *that* anywhere anytime. Uh, no dear, I'm a MOM.

Blessings,
Carolynn

Wenbren Explains It All said...

Awh you're such a good mommy! If I had a little girl I would do the same!:)

Mama Kat said...

It takes a lot of maintenance to keep a girl that cute looking and feeling her best. You better be up to the challenge...she's got expensive taste. I can tell.

Yaya said...

Haha, that's how the 3 year old is that I nanny for. We call her items her "entourage"! I often wonder how she finds room to sleep among all her items!

confused homemaker said...

I love that kids have lists like this. I remember that I use to line my stuffed animals up around my bed.

Jen said...

Without sleep and I am a mess. Like you, however, I require very little to get that accomplished. As soon as my head hits the pillow these days and I am out like a light.

amanda said...

i adored this post. my caitlyn has been carrying around two blankets. a bear and a puppy lately! ;0) you little 'l' is so cute though.

Deb said...

I love my little diva-in-training. Not for the babysitter, indeed!

The funny thing is, my kids are two of the most easygoing, undemanding kids at day care. But when they are around Mommy...

wendy said...

oh man - that is a riot.
she is sooo cute.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Lucia is an angel-- posse, shopping cart of blankets and all. When she starts demanding high heels and designer bags to sleep, THEN you're in trouble... but hopefully that's a few years away :-)

Sorry I've been missing in action. Summer's been way too busy of late.

Thanks Francesca, fro another great post!!!

xo

Kristin said...

The dude has a laundry list of "rules" too!

carin davis said...

It is a good thing she is SO CUTE!!! I bet she is as sweet as she is adorable!

Grand Pooba said...

Wow, she's got quite the posse there! And of course priddy is now a neccessity as well.

I hope you write a book before I have kids so you can share with me all of your parenting wisdom, such as the optimal sleeping arrangements for a princess.

I have a feeling I'm going to fail parenting 101. Actually, I'd prefer the cliff notes version of your book, that's more my style.

And if that's any indication of my future parenting style, I will need tutoring as well. Hope you're ready.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I think our #2 girls could be great friends with all they have in common! And possibly partners in crime. ;o)

Anonymous said...

So funny and so true how our sleep routine gets more and more simplified!

Bethany said...

She might need a lot, but boy is she adorable!!!