Underwear, Socks and Chapstick: A Bedtime Story

Oh Eleanor. Up to her bedtime shenanigans once again. A couple of nights ago, we tucked the girls into bed as usual. Let me set the scene for you: their bedroom is really quite dark. We have a tiny glowing disk plugged in that emits just enough light for Zoey to safely climb down from the top bunk if she needs to, but that is all. There really isn’t enough light to see to do anything else. There are also two small baskets on top of Eleanor’s dresser that hold all her socks and underwear.

After putting the girls to bed, I headed upstairs and turned on the monitor for their room. I heard a bit of shuffling around but no talking so I let it go. About ten minutes later, Eleanor began to talk, saying something about her pull-up. Lately she has been taking of her pajamas after we leave the room and we find her in the morning, wearing just a pull-up. The weather has been unseasonably warm here lately, so I’ve just let it go. I figured I would find her naked once again when I went to her room. I was only partially right.

When I opened the door, Eleanor immediately said, “I ripped my pull-up.” So I turned on the small bedside light to see what was going on. She had removed both her pj pants and pull-up. She had also gotten both baskets of socks and underwear and brought them into bed with her. She was wearing about a dozen pairs of underwear and approximately nine socks on each foot. Her little stuffed dog was also wearing three pairs of underwear and a few socks. The rest of the socks and underwear were scattered throughout her bed, mixed up in the eighteen different blankets she insists on sleeping with each night. All I could do was shake my head and say (for the millionth time), “Oh Eleanor.”

I removed all the undergarments and sorted them back into the baskets, minus three socks that I couldn’t find the mates for. It wasn’t until the next morning, after breakfast when I went to get Eleanor dressed, that I discovered she still had on two pairs of underwear. She had crammed her entire body through one leg of the undies and they were pulled up around her belly, hidden under her pajama shirt. She had slept that way all night long, never saying a word, despite how tight and uncomfortable it must have been. Oh, Eleanor!

Fast forward to last night. This time it was Zach who went down to the girls’ room to investigate when we heard Eleanor talking. Later he told me, “Oh, by the way, if Eleanor smells like lip balm later…” I busted up laughing before he could even finish telling me what she did. I already knew. As the girls were getting for bed that night, I had been tidying up their room. I moved Zoey’s set of three Minnie Mouse Lipsmackers into a drawer on the vanity, instead of up on a high shelf where the girls couldn’t reach them. I didn’t even realize Eleanor had been watching me. Waiting for just the right moment to make her move.

After we had tucked them in and gone upstairs, Ellie once again got out of bed, retrieved the chapsticks from the drawer and proceeded to coat her face with them. Everywhere. And her hair. When I went in to get her in the morning, I was hit by the smell of vanilla cupcakes from three feet away. It took only a moment of piecing together the scent and Eleanor’s greasy hair (which had been washed just before bedtime, I might add) to remember that she’d gotten into the Lipsmackers. She got a shower with me this morning, and her hair washed again. When I put her down for her nap, her sheets and pillows still smelled like dessert. Guess I’ll have to wash those too. In the meantime, I’ve been calling her Cupcake all day.

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