WCK is obsessed with dinosaurs right now. She frequently pretends to be a dinosaur, which involves stomping/running up and down our upstairs hallway while yelling, "Raaaar!!" Sometimes Mommy is forced to be a stomping/running dinosaur, too. Raaar!!
Yesterday we were pretending to be dinosaurs at the park (yes, I do this in public) when she pointed at the trees. "Look, Mommy! Dinosaur!" It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about, but sure enough, there was a tree with a thick, curving branch. There were two big knots on it and a slit that looked a little like a mouth. It looked somewhat like a brontosaurus with buggy eyes, if you squinted hard enough. We walked up to the dinosaur and chatted with him, petted him, and fed him a stick. I glanced at my watch and saw it was almost time for us to head home. I always hate trying to get WCK to leave a park, because it usually turns into a big screaming ordeal.
"What's that, dinosaur?" I said, leaning in close to listen. "Oh," I said, turning to WCK. "Dinosaur says we need to go home and eat supper."
"OK," said WCK. "Bye, dinosaur." She happily set out for the car.
Oh, this dinosaur is good, I thought. He's my new best friend.
Fast-forward to bedtime. WCK has been having a lot of trouble falling asleep for the past few weeks. Most of our evenings are spent listening to screaming on the baby monitor and taking turns going up and down the stairs to her room, only to have her laugh at us. Last night, after about my fifth trip to her room, I had a flash of brilliance.
"WCK," I said, "I just got in the car, drove to the park, and had a talk with the dinosaur. I told him you didn't want to go to sleep, and he felt very sad. He said that he'd really like you to go to sleep. He said that if you want to grow up to be a big, strong dinosaur, you need to go to sleep right now."
WCK's eyes got huge. She immediately lay down and squeezed her eyes shut. I didn't hear a peep out of her for the next 11 hours.
Was it just a one-time deal? No! Just a minute ago, she was refusing to take a nap. Naps have also been a big problem for weeks now. I went into her room and told her I'd been back to the park to talk to the dinosaur again, and once again, he was really sad that she wasn't napping, and he was scared she'd never grow up to be a dinosaur.
Now she's fast asleep. I LOVE THE IMAGINARY MIRACLE DINOSAUR!
Jay thinks lying to our sweet little child is wrong. I think I am going to do this ALL THE TIME.
"Sure, you can borrow the car," I'll say in 2021, "but if you're not back by your curfew, the dinosaur will be sad."