“I am vewy disappointed in your behaviour!”
These are the words that I heard through the baby monitor at around 3am. I heaved my backside out of bed and waddled across the hall to see who exactly had disappointed my threenager at this ridiculous hour.
Mini-me was sitting upright in her bed, having assembled her dollies and teddy bears around her and was wide awake and quite happily giving orders and giving out to her audience.
“Are you Ok Baby?” I asked carefully.
“I’m the teacher Mammy,” she announced as if this was perfectly acceptable behaviour in the middle of the night.
“Percy Penguin had to go in the naughty corner cos he’s been very cheeky and I’m very disappointed wif his behaviour.”
In the dim light from the hall, I could see that poor Percy was lying, fluffy arse up, in the toy box, having obviously been launched across the room by Teacher.
What had he done? Who knows, but it was enough to warrant his banishment to the dark side. And Mini-Me was determined that he deserved his punishment.
“Aw Poor Percy. Will Mammy lift him up to you again?” I ventured.
“No! He is not being a very good penguin!” she scolded.
“Okay, okay. Can you please go back to sleep now Honey? It’s the middle of the night.”
“But Mammy, I have to be the teacher!”
“You can be the teacher in the morning.”
You can imagine the rest of the conversation. As I sat at the bottom of the bed, begging her to go back to sleep, I struggled not to laugh at the utter determination on her face as she completely and truly believed everything that was taking place in her imagination. And yet, I couldn’t help but stare and smile at how utterly beautiful her innocent little face was in the nightlight. Everything that was happening in her mind was absolutely real to her. And if it hadn’t been the middle of the night, I would have encouraged it.
Since starting Pre-school, Little Miss Bossy Pants has been blossoming by the day. Her imagination has exploded from already very vivid, to absolutely crazy. She’s mimicking her lovely new teachers. She’s turned her teddybears into her “students”. Even though she’s never seen me in the classroom, she’s playing the “School teacher” in a way that maybe only the daughter of one, can.
She eventually went back to sleep. I eventually got back to my own bed. As shattered as I was, it was a relief that she was awake for such silly reasons. She wasn’t sick. She wasn’t having bad dreams and she wasn’t crying. So I had nothing to complain about. I drifted back to sleep, laughing to myself at the ridiculousness of the conversations one can have with a three year old at 4am.
Maybe she’s doing me a favour. Maybe she’s so clever that she’s easing Mammy into the world of sleepless nights again in preparation for Babba number 2? Or Maybe Percy was quite simply being a bold penguin.
Regardless of what exactly caused her to leave her dreams and wake up for full-on playtime at stupid o’clock, she bounced out of bed this morning and happily lifted Percy Penguin from his exile. Putting him back on the bed, she announced “Now, I hope you’ve learned your lesson Percy. I don’t want to see that behaviour again.” Whatever his crime, she hadn’t forgotten, but she’d forgiven him.
In the same way, as parents, we quickly forget the pain of being ripped from our sleep in the middle of the night as long as our little rascals are Ok.
But tonight, if she decides to play Teacher, I hope that Poor Percy behaves himself!
I am Sleepy Mum. 🙂
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