Alexandra slept from the time she fell asleep (approximately 6:05 pm) until about 6:45 this morning!
Have you ever had one of those nights where everything starts off well enough, but then quickly deteriorates into something horrifying, terrifying and downright embarrassing?
Well. I had one tonight. And it was a doozy.
Things started out great. Got home from work early. Got to sit around alone for a few minutes (I mean really....who DOESN'T get excited about that?). Elizabeth was playing at a friend's house. It was going to be me, dad and Alexandra for dinner.
I was really looking forward to just the 3 of us. Alexandra never gets us to herself, and she is a completely different kid when she does - no unpleasant stuff, all good stuff. I guess because there's no one around to compete for the attention. But anyway.
Things were going well. Dad and Alexandra arrived home; he and I talked about what to make for dinner (we decided on ham. yes. this will be important in a minute). Alexandra ran off to play Polly Pockets/Build-a-Bear/Little People/dress up.
I got dinner done pretty quickly and went to find Alexandra so we could start eating. I found her on the stairs, playing. I said "Come on honey. It's time to eat dinner." She said "What are we having?" I said "Ham." She said "I don't want to eat ham."
And it all went downhill from there.
(Before going any further, I should note at this point that Alexandra likes ham. And the other stuff I made tonight. I've seen her eat, and enjoy everything that was on the table at various other times. Oh, and also, we don't force the kids to eat anything that they truly don't like.)
After she messed around long enough for both dad and I to finish our entire dinners, it became clear that the ONE AND ONLY bite of ham that she had been chewing on for about 20 minutes was not going to be swallowed, and I started to get annoyed.
"Please finish that up and swallow it honey."
"Come on Alexandra. You need to finish chewing that bite and swallow it."
"ALEXANDRA. Finish chewing. NOW."
Seriously? It really tastes good to chew the SAME piece of ham for 20 minutes?
After a while, I felt the need to start in with the threats.
"If you don't finish that now, you're not going to be able to come with me to pick up sissy from her friend's house."
"OK. You're going to have to go up to your room if you can't finish chewing."
So, she ended up in her room, where I told her to call me when she was done so she could come back down and finish her dinner. A couple of minutes later, she was back down and seemingly enthusiastically eating another piece of ham. Success!
But wait. She's been chewing that piece of ham now for 5 minutes.
"Alexandra. If you don't finish those 4 pieces of ham on your plate in the next 5 minutes, you're going to bed. For the rest of the night. Until the morning. Understand?"
OK. I've drawn the line in the sand. Then....I looked at the clock. It was about 10 minutes to 6:00. (Uh oh. God. I really hope she finishes because I don't really want her to going to bed at 6:00. She'll be up at 4:00 in the morning, which is quite a bit earlier than I want to be getting up. Hmmm. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so quick to threaten with bed).
I'm sure you have figured out at this point what happened. No, she didn't finish the ham. Yes, she went to bed at 6:00. Yes, she was asleep by about 6:05.
I of course, am feeling horribly guilty because I forced my daughter to go to bed about 2 hours earlier than normal (even though she was tired - she fell asleep a lot more quickly than she normally does!). And I am feeling horribly guilty because I am mean mean mean! What kind of mother would make her kid eat ham when she very obviously didn't want to? A mean one, that's what kind!
So, that is my bad parenting moment no. 267. Learn it. Do not live it. Avoid it at all costs if possible. And, DO NOT MAKE HAM FOR DINNER.