How I feel after any number of conversations with my 3 year old.

Bed time tonight.  As an example.

Me:  Time to go to bed.

DD1: I need to finish the Barbie movie.

Me:  The credits are running.  Let’s go.

DD1: The song’s not over. 5 more minutes.

Me:  OK.  Once the song is over.

[Song ends].

Me: OK.  Time to go.

DD1: Carry me upstairs.  And my dollies [six of them].

Me: You carry your dollies.  I carry you.  Let’s go.

[We go].

Me: Let’s brush your teeth.

DD1:  I need a snack.

Me: You don’t need a snack. We had dinner an hour ago.

[DD1 already rummaging through pantry]

DD1: I’m getting some cereal. [Reaches into Rice Crispie box, because Cheerios or Mini Wheats would be too kind.]

[While “autonomously self-feeding” proceeds to sprinkle Rice Crispies all over the floor.]

Me: One handful! And stop spilling on the floor!

DD1: [horridly offended and with zero irony] I’m not! [while simultaneously both dropping and spewing cereal]

Me: [while trying to pick up individual Crispies and make sure we have not misplaced any of the six dollies, collect my game face] Okay! Let’s brush our teeth!

DD1:  [Now made it to the bathroom] No.  Not the Dora toothpaste.  The new toothpaste.

Me:  Okay – proceed to spread it on the ….

DD1:  No!!!  Not the Dora toothbrush!  The TinkerBell one! [Note to self: We’re SO. OVER. DORA. Inner happy dance.  Sadly, to ingrained Dora theme music.]

Me: Right.  [Clean. Restart. We’re good]

[Toothbrushing done].

Me: Right.  Let’s get in our PJs.

DD1:  I want to wear a dress.

Me: Whatever. Let’s get your pull-up on first [reach for Disney Princess pull-up].

DD1:  [Implodes] No!!!!  Not that pull-up!!!!  I need the one with just Cinderella!  Not THREE princesses! That’s a BAD pull-up!

Me: Fine [get’s “right” pull up; and dress from cupboard; thinks crisis is averted until…]

DD1:  No!!!! Not that dress.  I want my cake pants!  And my Dora top! [WTF?!]

Me:  Fine [gets outfit; DD1 gets dressed; all good]

Me: Do you need to pee?

DD1:  No!  I went already today.  Want to read the Jack and Jill Book.

[We settle in to read Mother Goose]

DD1:  Bunny? Do you have Bunny?!  Where’s Bunny!!! [Completely loses her shit; starts throwing dollies; looking under blankies; pulling out drawers etc…while looking for her stuffed rabbit]

[5-6 minutes of searching around the house.  After much trauma, locate Bunny on her dinner chair hidden by tablecloth.]

DD1: Okay.  Now want Jack and Jill. [Curls up in bed with Bunny; six dollies; two blankies; kittie nightlight; and owl music machine].

[We read for 10 minutes.  It’s lovely.  These are the moments I pictured when I thought about being a mother.  Snuggling in bed with my daughter and sharing the love of books]

Me: Ok.  Time for bed [Closing book].

DD1: No! I want to read more!

[Seriously, it isn’t like she asked to do heroin.  This is a good problem to have, right?  So we read a bit more.]

Me: Ok.  Time to go to bed.

[I tuck her in; set the music; kiss her; we snuggle; I say good night…]

DD1: I need to pee.

Me: I asked you if you needed to pee already and you said no!

DD1: I really need to pee mommy!

Me: Fine! [Lights on; undo everything; go pee; get back in bed; snuggle; music etc…]

DD1: I’m thirsty.

Me: [grabbing handy water by her bed] Here!

[Few sips]

Me: Good night.

[Escape – to a few whines then … blissful .. quiet]

So yes.  She finally released the hostage.