Once upon a time, there was a little boy with sparkling blue eyes and festive red hair. He was smart and funny and generally easygoing. But he didn't much like sleeping.
His mommy liked sleeping. She liked it a lot. But if he was up, she was up, too. By the time of our story, she'd been awake for nearly five years. She loved him. Dearly. But most of the time, she couldn't remember his name.
One night, when his mommy was away for the evening and a friend stayed over to take care of him, a minor miracle happened. The redhead slept. In his own bed. All night long. And all by himself.
Then he promised his mommy he'd do it again. All he wanted was a Build-A-Bear.
Before he even finished that thought, his mommy shouted "DEAL!" She went clickety-clack on the computer and churned out a fully-illustrated, 30-day chart, with pictures of Build-A-Bears dancing in the margins.
He had a good night, and he got a circle for his chart. Then he had a few bad nights. Then another good one, and another circle. The first few days were slow going. But he made it to 7, then 10, then 12. Before he knew it, he had 20 big round circles on his chart. And, seeing that he had only 10 nights left, he bit the bullet and slept on his own, in his own bed, straight through until he was done.
The day before his fifth birthday, this beautiful, sparkling boy earned circle number 30, with 30 nights of fully independent, uninterrupted, I'm-a-big-kid-now sleep.
And now the boy has a new best friend. His name is Woody Monkey. Apparently Build-A-Bear makes monkeys, too, and they let you dress them up in very cool outfits, some of which look astonishingly like those worn by the lead characters in your average five-year-old's favorite film.
I am happy to report that my great, big, heading-off-to-Kindergartner has slept in his own bed every night since his birthday. We're going on two weeks now.
So, if I promise myself a Build-a-Bear, do you think I'll start sleeping, too?