"I hungry, Mommy. I hungry. Mommy, I hungry. I hungry, Mommy."
Ceaselessly. Plaintively. With pathos to tug at my heart strings, a whine to get on my nerves.
And still I kept my eyes tightly shut, hoping that in this little battle of the wills at midnight, mine would prevail.
(and before you wonder whether I am cruel and unusual, dinner had been served, and a before-bed snack given that was so generous, a bowl of dry cereal was leftover on the table for morning)
I don't remember signing up to staff a 24/7 diner for my three-year-old.
I just wanted to sleep already.
Landon and I were sharing my mom's basement guest room; there was no escaping his mission. I finally realized that I could not outlast him.
"You can go upstairs and get that bowl of cereal if you are so hungry, then."
"But it is too dark. I can't reach the light. I a little scared, Mommy."
These seemed like valid points. Kind of. I felt a twinge of guilt that I may be sending my toddler upstairs on an errand of terror just to settle a grumbly tummy.
I dragged myself out of bed, prepared to turn on the light to the stairwell. It was on. Illuminating the trail to the answer to all hunger in this house. A bowl of cereal. Take it or leave it.
"The light is on, Landon. If you are so hungry, go upstairs and get it yourself."
And with a little more fussing and fretting, he decided he was not that hungry.
I thought I had won.
Until 3 AM rolled around and I was barely asleep (tough night), to be woken up by an outraged, "Hey! Who turned off the bedroom light?! I want that on. I can't sleep with the light off!"
Will I ever get any sleep?
"If you want it on so badly, turn it on yourself," I say, thinking I'd found the magic formula.
And so he did. Flooding the room with blazing light. At 3 am.
We have officially learned to call each other's bluff.