DQ thinks eleven is hard. Sixth grade is hard. Practice is hard. Sleep is hard. Everything is hard.
She whips herself up into such a fervor that she stands in the doorway and SOBS instead of laying down, closing her eyes, and at least attempting to relax. And at 11pm with two toddlers whose eyes will unavoidably snap open at first light, sleep is more precious in my life than chocolate. And let me tell you, I LOVE chocolate. And ice cream.
"How do you want us to help you?" We ask.
"I DON'T KNOW!" She sobs.
"You can't fall asleep standing up," we say.
"I KNOW!" But she refuses to move out of the doorway.
"Go read a book, play with something quietly, write in your journal until you feel like sleeping."
"I ALREADY TRIED THAT!"
"So what is it that you want us to do? Conk you upside the head with a frying pan?" I ask, completely annoyed that she refuses to try and help herself.
"Then what?" I prompt.
She glares at me like she's trying to melt my face off. Her dad tries really hard to keep from rolling his eyes, sighing as her hollering has now woken Squeaky a second time.
She stomps off to her room and slams the door. Tiny, who shares a wall with that doorframe, starts shrieking in terror, flying out of his room and desperately racing down the hall to find me. I scoop him up, my eyes rolling so far into my head I can see my frontal lobe. DQ whips the door open again, glares at the two of us, and does the angry, ugly crying that often accompanies her tweenaged meltdowns. It's an act at this point, an attempt to manipulate me into there-there tutting and soothing. Her cries are definitely put on, lacking the passion of frustration.
After repeating the order to get.in.bed. FIVE times, then to take deep breaths until her breath stops shaking THREE times, and telling her that I realize she's anxious about her choir concert tomorrow, but that this isn't helping anyone sleep, her especially...She finally calms down enough.
I wish her goodnight, close the door, and put Tiny back to bed. Midnight. What is it about this age that is SO HARD that they can't even see the unreasonableness of their own actions?