Sleep tricks / by Susie Lubell

Every night when my son goes to bed, after the bath and the pajamas and the snack and the dessert and the stories and the teeth brushing and the whining and the singing and the whining for more singing and the drink of water and the pee pee break, I ask him if he remembers the five tricks I taught him about how to fall asleep. And every night he doesn't remember. So every night I tell him these five things again and I tell him to put those five things in his head and lock them in there so he doesn't forget and then the next night he wants to hear them again because even though he locked them in his head they got out. A squirrel opened up his head with a key and took out all of the sleep tricks so he needs to hear them one more time. And there's a squirrel somewhere sleeping soundly.

So what are these tricks?
1. Count up to 100 and back to zero.
2. Look at your alef-bet quilt (hanging above his bed) and make up stories for every picture.
3. Have dreams about sheep jumping over a fence and count each sheep as it jumps in your dream.
4. Make up a pinky and pongo story.
5. Dream about everyone in the world that you love and everyone in the world who loves you and give every single one of those people a hug in your dream.

I mean I'm about to fall asleep just typing about these five tricks.

Tonight, ten minutes after I put them both to sleep and went over, again, the sleep tricks, he came padding into the office and sat down on the floor asking for new ways to fall asleep. For the love of ginger, just close your freaking eyes! But no, I threw out some more suggestions. Dream about folding all of mommy's laundry. Dream about mommy losing ten pounds on her new Nutella diet. He was not happy with these suggestions. Then I offered that I would give him one more suggestion and Aba would give him one more. So Aba said he should think about how much he loves riding his bike and I told him he should think about how great it was to swim using the noodle without holding on to any swim teachers (!). He still wasn't happy so that's when I started writing this blog entry. And three minutes into the period where I'm ignoring him and typing, he says I will do those two things and then he mentioned a third thing that I can't remember now because a squirrel came and took it out of my head. I'll go wake him up to ask him so we can start this whole exercise again because it was so much fun the first time around...