She pounded the cat on the back, using Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace’s charmingly illustrated Little Hoot, the word-play-filled story of an overly tired owl who is expected to stay up late if he “want[s] to grow up to be a wise owl,” as her weapon of choice. I don’t think the cat enjoyed the tale very much. Lifting the heavy plastic orb that is one of her infant crawl-after-me toys, she repeatedly dropped it, narrowly missing her feet. In a frenzy, she screamed and kicked her feet and refused to sit on her potty (which, as far as I know, had never done anything but take what she had to dish out). She even stamped her feet, her not-so-tiny heiny jiggling as the tremors moved up her legs. She grated her teeth, which sorely grated on our nerves. Instead of lying down while we read in bed, she stood and clung to the headboard, bouncing a bit and then fiddling with the alarm clock for the sheer pleasure of pressing buttons. She poured out the water from her cup into the tray of her high chair, allowing it to pool before daintily dipping a finger into it, raising it to her mouth, and savoring the clear liquid in microdoses. Then, like a giant laying waste to the pond in a small village, she rubbed her whole hand back and forth through the water, spreading, splashing, and adding small bits of spaghetti to the water. Beads, droplets, and minipuddles radiated from her seat. Putting on pajamas resulted in near hysteria – and I mean for  her, too.

Maybe she’s getting teeth (since she has twelve, maybe it’s a canine or the next set of molars). Maybe it’s the lingering cold that still drives out boogies like a shepherd taking his sheep to pasture. Certainly, it’s the lack of sleep. Three nights ago, she didn’t fall asleep until after ten. The following day, her long nap was half an hour shorter than usual, clocking in at one and a half hours. Yesterday she awoke at four a.m., took only one (albeit three hour) nap, then wouldn’t go to sleep until after nine p.m. This morning she was up from five until six, finally falling asleep after much singing, patting, and nursing, then took only a forty minute nap instead of her usual two or so hour one. She needs to (re)learn the joys of sleep, as Little Hoot does when his parents finally permit him to go to collapse into bed: “Woo-whooooo! Woo-whooooo! Bedtime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” he shouts with glee. If she does this, maybe we can “owl [live] happily ever after…” 

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Rosenthal, Amy Krouse and Jen Corace. Little Hoot. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2009. Print.

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