Nora Beth has been sleeping in her big girl bed for a few months now and loves it. She gets so excited to slip into her “fing-gamo” sheets and snooze. For a while, if she was having a hard time staying in bed, we would move her into her crib to stay. Except when we were on an overnight trip to Knoxville at the beginning of March, she learned she could climb out of her Pack ‘N Play and thusly transferred the skill to her crib upon returning home. For 3 weeks now we’ve been dealing with post-tuck in escapes. She is terrified of the two-way intercom featuring of the monitor and every nap or evening she’ll declare empathically, “No mon-ter talk to you.” We assure her that it only talks to her when it catches her trying to get out of bed.
One quick, “Get back in bed,” reduces her to hiccuping sobs but was doing the trick. We would go upstairs to quiet her fears, reinforce that it talked to her just because she got out of bed, tuck her in again, and the problem was solved. In the last week, even the very intimidating monitor threat was beginning to lose its effectiveness, and our never-for-a-moment-quiet child has become a stealth bomber, slipping out of her room and into some alcove to play with any number of household items.
This evening we had a friend over to dinner, had done the put-back-in-bed routine twice, and had warned her that one more escape would result in a spanking. She assured me that she understood and slid back under the covers with her loveys, Madeline and Chaw-wee beanie (her inexplicable best friend who reminds us that Christmas will never die in our house. “Why you stuck in dat box, Chaw-wee???”).
About 20 minutes later, while we were in the middle of our dinner, my phone started buzzing. I looked down and saw that David was calling me. Except he was sitting beside me, chatting, and his phone was nowhere in sight. I marched upstairs, and there sat Nora Beth on our bed, leaving me a voicemail. “Hi Mommy. I calling somebody. Whoa!! Dat’s Mommy on dat phone!”
The hardest part of parenting, I’ve found, is trying to keep a straight face or pretend to be upset. I had to enforce my consequence and tuck her back in with a bottom that was a little pinker than it was before, but not before I squeezed her extra tightly, told her how much I loved her, then slipped out of the room to listen to my voicemail. Four hundred times.
For dessert after dinner, I served these chocolate chip cookie bars. They came together in a flash, are a smidge healthier and less cloyingly sweet compared to other homemade desserts… butttt, for some reason they turned blue in the middle?? I don’t know. We’ve had no problem polishing them off, and have been no worse for the wear. So we’re assuming it was a weird ingredient reaction. Greenish or blueish, they are delicious.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
adapted from Half Baked Harvest
8 tablespoons butter-flavored Crisco (or butter)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond butter (I used sunflower butter, which was great. You could also use natural peanut butter)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and fully combined. Add the nut butter and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, and vanilla, beat until combined and creamy. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spread the dough out in the prepared baking pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, just until set in the center. It’s important not to overbake these.