Thursday, October 18, 2007

All Hail Cookie Monster--King of Bedtime Bribery

We are not a Sesame Street family, but I may have to soften my stance.

When LittleBird was around 18 months old, she went through a phase where she was getting up at an indecent hour. Before the sun. Before the birds. Before god. It was horrible. One morning during this phase, I saw that Sesame Street was on and felt a rush of guilt. How had we never watched it before? Had I been depriving my daughter of a classic American upbringing? I thought it would be a good distraction to turn it on, and educational to boot.

I switched channels and started to hype it up to LittleBird. Ooooh! Sesame Street is coming on! Let's watch!! She looked at me like I had grown three heads.

And what should the next sketch be, but Cookie Monster. He proceeds to yank a cookie out of whatever orifice he does and started yelling about cookies. Suddenly, LittleBird is interested. Very interested.

I don't think we were more than 30-45 seconds into the sketch when my daughter turns to me: Cookie.

Oh. No.

Wanna cookie!

I explain to her that we do not eat cookies before we have breakfast. And honestly at this point, she did not get cookies on anything close to a regular basis.

And the wailing starts. Cookie! Cookie! I wanna cookie!! In heartbreaking sobs.

I run over to the TV, turn it off and resist the urge to toss it out the window.

Who the FUCK decided to talk about cookies to toddlers at 7 o'clock in the morning? What sadistic, brain-dead moron woke up one morning and said Hey! Let's run a children's program at an obscenely early morning hour and sing about sugary treats that they can't have at breakfast time!

Assholes. The lot of them.

Needless to say, we have been a Sesame Street-free home ever since. Until two days ago.

Somewhere, somehow, LittleBird got her hands on a little blue ponytail holder that has Cookie Monster's face on it. Not Big Bird. Not Grover. Not Oscar. But our favorite cookie wielding devil himself--the Cookie Monster. She doesn't want to wear it in her hair, she just wants to have it in bed with her.

She puts it on her wrist like a bracelet, or she just clutches him in her hand. And it turns out that this is the best bedtime bribe we ever could have stumbled acrost.

Someday I will go into the horror stories that have been our nap and bedtime routine, but suffice it to say that we have never had it easy with LittleBird. Until now.

The first night she wanted to sleep with Cookie Monster I told her the rules. Here is Cookie Monster. If you stay in bed, you can keep him. If you get out of bed, I am going to take him away.

She got up, Cookie Monster was confiscated. Crying ensued. She eventually fell asleep without him.

The past two days, she knows the drill. And has followed it to the letter. Naptime and bedtime have turned into miraculously quiet events. We brush her teeth. She gets Cookie Monster. She goes to bed and puts her head down. And that is the end of it. Every now and then she asks for a tissue, but that is the extent of it.

Last night when I checked on her, she had him clutched in her little fist and I wanted to weep from the sweetness of it all. Hubbie wouldn't let me take a picture because it was not worth the possibility of waking her up, but that image is burned into my mind. She is napping right now, but I will take a picture and post it once she wakes up. It just goes to show how things evolve. Something that is the bane of your existence turns into a lifesaving strategy. So All Hail to Cookie Monster! Thank you for redeeming yourself. For as long as this lasts, you are welcome back in our house.


Patois said...

Me, me, me want cookie! Hey, whatever it freakin' takes. That's been my motto from about Day 94 of Parents Held Hostage.

theflyingmum said...

It's all about perspective, isn't it? We never had a problem with Sesame Street. My own father is a self-proclaimed "cookie-monster" so my son figured out pretty early that it was just a title for someone who really likes cookies. But hey, who doesn't?!
Also, thanks for visiting my blog - hope you have success with the foot fungus. I'm tellin' ya - works like a charm for me.

Heather said...

Here, it's Little Bear. That is, until they discovered Nemo. Now when Miss-Miss goes up the stairs to my office to watch Nemo, she'll say "Watch Nemo. Bye-Bye Bear!" Heartless.

Oh, and? She clutches her little plastic Nemo bath toy ALL the time. She has a great big stuffed Nemo that is ignored. Go figure.

Happy monster-ing!