Saturday, June 02, 2007

what's in a name?

So there we are, trying to get Isaac to sleep for the night. It's a delicate process that involves a nice exhausting afternoon at the park, a nighttime snack, a long debate about which toothbrush to use, a lot of luck, and the right books. An easy bedtime is the difference between parents who get to enjoy a couple hours of each other's company before collapsing and parents who just collapse. In other words, it's huge.

As the president of PADST (Parents Against Daylight Savings Time), I'd like to say that bedtime is that much harder these days. Not to mention, the routine of bedtime can be mind numbing. We have recently jettisoned our pile of dedicated bedtime books and been testing out new material in an effort to liven things up.

It was time. The tension around whether the duckling will be reunited with his family has long since drained away and so help me, if Corduroy has taken a bath once, he's taken that bath a thousand, freaking times.

It's important in a bedtime book that there not be any flaps to lift, any textures to sit up and feel, any dinosaurs roaring too loudly. We've gone with the sure thing. We've turned to Pooh. Trying to stave off the boredom that will eventually, inevitably come with this new selection of books as well, and being general cute and goofy, Mike plays up the voices. Not known as a man of many accents, my husband does the best he can.

Rabbit, it seems, is from somewhere around Mexico City by way of Moscow. Owl, and, now that I think about it, pretty much all the other occupants of the Hundred Acre Wood minus Eeyore speak in an accent that falls between an Irish brogue and a cockney guy who's just been punched hard in the mouth.

On one particular night recently, I was holding Isaac's hand and Mike was reading along from his odd little UN cast when Eeyore suddenly came out as “Igor.” I shook Isaac's little toddler bed trying to hold in silent laughter. Igor, the depressed donkey, had lost his tail you see, but now Isaac wanted to know what the hell was wrong with Mama and, well, we had to go back to square one on the road to getting him unconscious. I could feel my evening slipping away.

But the Great Story Teller wasn't done.

Peter found Igor's tail hanging as a bell pull outside Owl's house. Yes, that's right, the famous Bear of Very Little Brain? The one with his nose in the honey pots? That one. His name is Peter. Winnie-the-Peter. Suffice to say, that was it for our evening.

When, at well after 9 we left Isaac's room, I cautioned an inquiry: “Peter?? PETER?” “It was dark,” Mike defended. “You're pathetic,” I told him and kissed him goodnight.


Anonymous said...

Ah, bedtime. Nelson loved to read Babar the Elephant doing a dead-on impersonation of the Swedish Chef. The kids drifted off to sleep all right, but only because I stood outside the door listening with my hand shoved in my mouth.

inkandpen said...

Man, I LOVED dad's Babar voices. Isaac definitely needs to experience that one.

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