Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Whatever it takes

A week or two ago, Liza started to get harder and harder to put to bed. Normally we read to her, turned on some music and snuggle in bed with her for a few songs, and then left while she was still groggy and she fell asleep on her own. But shortly before her birthday Liza began fighting the process, wriggling around like a fish on a hook while we snuggled, then sneaking out of bed and coming downstairs multiple times. Never mind that she can't get to sleep because she won't sit still for more than 3 seconds, and the light is on, and she's got 75 copies of My Big Backyard strewn all over her bed. It's enough to make me think that our old joke about needing a "sleep hammer" wasn't so far off.

Finally I told her that now that she's 5, she's old enough to put herself to bed. We'll read to her, and turn on her music, and maybe tell her a story while she lays there, but once we leave, she's on her own. She can get up and read, play in her room, whatever - as long as she does it quietly, and stays in her room, and puts herself to bed when she's done. Arguments that she can't do that were met with calm reminders that she already HAD done it for several nights, when she fell asleep in the middle of her pile of magazines with a flashlight in one hand and a bunny in the other. Arguments that she wasn't tired were met with a story that explains why she's having such a hard time relaxing ...

Inside your brain is a little guy whose job it is to keep you awake. He's very small, and he's got a sword to keep the Sleepies from getting in your brain. The guy is pretty funny - he's not wearing any clothes except for a pair of underwear, and sometimes a cape, and he likes to dance to Elvis music.

The Sleepies are pretty funny, too. They're tiny purple fluffy sheep that can fly and smell really, really good. There are a lot of them, and all they want to do is come and take a nap in your brain, but the guy with the sword won't let them, so they have to be tricky.

So one of the Sleepies reaches into his wool and pulls out a radio, and when he turns it on, Elvis music starts to play. This makes the guy with the sword want to dance, so he ends up dancing around with his sword, waving it around to keep the Sleepies back. But he can't fight the music for long, and ends up doing some really fancy dance moves, and when his attention is on the dance, some of the Sleepies sneak through.

All of that dancing makes the guy with the sword kind of tired, so he has to take a break, and he leans over and rests a little on his sword ... and some more Sleepies sneak through. Then he gets up and dances some more, which makes him more tired, and he has to sit down and rest a bit ... and some more Sleepies get through.

Finally, there's only one Sleepie left, and it's the head Sleepie. He looks at the guy with the sword, and he says, "You've been doing a good job, but you look really tired. I think it's time for you to take a rest." And the guy agrees, and he lays down and snuggles with his sword, and the Sleepie walks past him up and joins all the other Sleepies in Liza's head. And all of the Sleepies lay down and take a nap together, which makes Liza feel very sleepy, and she can finally rest.

Of course, it's better in live performance, what with the silly dance moves and Sleepies sneaking up her pajamas and into her head and everything. I'm thinking it's got movie potential ... Tom Hanks as the guy with the sword, Shaun the Sheep as the head Sleepie ... it could be box office gold, I tell you.

In the meantime, now that Liza has acted as editor by reading over my shoulder while I type, I think I'd better finish this up. After all, we have a guy with a sword and some flying purple sheep that smell really good to draw up to illustrate our story ....

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