It’s practically a parenting requirement that you rock your toddler back to sleep when she has a nightmare in the middle of the night. Each toddler has their little “quirks”–tiny little preferences that soothe them and help ease them back into peaceful slumber. Some need a bottle. Others need a song. Mine?
Mine likes stairs.
As in really likes stairs. Get her within visual distance of a flight of stairs, and it’s like a candy store just jumped up in front of her. She’ll gladly (and tirelessly) run up and down it (with parent in tow, of course) for half an hour if need be, and woe to the unlucky adult who has to separate her from it.
“But wait,” you ask. “Do you mean to say you make her climb the stairs at 3 am in the morning to tire her out?”
No! No no no no no no NO no no NOOO! Of COURSE she doesn’t climb the stairs in the middle of the night.
That would be ME.
I don’t know what it is about the jerky motion of ascending and descending those steps, but it calms her down. And she doesn’t let me off easy, either. If I dare stop and rest, or step back into the hallway to a flat surface, she tells me (in the way of vocal toddlers), “I’m sorry daddy, but I would still like a little more time on the stairs. You can rest later, when I’m 5 years old. Please daddy? With sugar and maple syrup on top?”
To which I reply, “Yes, dear. I would absolutely love to take you another round. It’s only been 10 minutes, and daddy doesn’t really need to be entirely sane when he goes to work tomorrow. Golly gee, I don’t mind my legs turning to jelly at all.”
My daughter needs an infomercial.