Well, you can understand that bedtime can be somewhat of a chore. Problemo (I must be feeling quite ethnic today) number one: Claire no longer takes naps. However, if we are in the car anytime past the hour of 3 pm, we are at a very high risk of her falling asleep. A very high risk, indeed. You should see the theatrics we resort to in an effort to keep her awake. Which leads to Problemo number two: If she falls asleep after the hour of 3 pm, we are in big, big trouble. This is because she gets very, very hyper about the time the rest of us are getting very, very tired. Not a good equation, I am afraid. (Even when she is very tired, she tries so hard to not fall asleep- she has been known to be on the verge of sleep, only to jump up, do a somersault, and jump up and down in order to avert a nap.)
Which leads to problemo number three: Growly bears out my eyeballs.
Here's the story: One evening after getting the rest of the rascals in bed, I was quite ready myself. As is a common scenario at our house, however, Claire was not. Me tired, Claire not tired. You know the story. Wellll, I tried ignoring her. I employed my best acting skills to pretend to be asleep. I might have tried commanding her to leave me alone. All to no avail. In a last ditch effort, I told her in my most serious voice, "Claire, if you don't go to sleep right now, the Growly bears will start to come out of my eyeballs". Really, I have no idea where this came from. Courtney looked at me as if I had just landed in a spaceship. I surprised even myself, in fact. Because growly bears out of my eyeballs? Where in the heck did that come from?
Well, I'm convinced it came from my guardian angel (or maybe Claire's actually), because it saved us all that night. She looked at me with a sharp intake of air, hopped off my bed, and ran to her room. Never to be heard of until morning.
Since then, it has worked every time. I only employ this tactic in the most severe cases- you know, I don't want to run the risk of my growly bears becoming overused and underfeared (once again, maybe that's not a word?). In fact, just last night, after a rough night, Claire looked at me and said, "Mom, are your Growly Bears coming out?" Of course, I had to explain that yes, in fact, they might if she didn't get to bed quickly. Bam! She was asleep in two minutes flat.
Hallelujah for growly bears, that's what I say.