Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bedtime Stalling Tactics

I love L'il Critters! 
As I write this Miss M is yelling my name from the bedroom. This has become the nightly norm.

For many of you the phrase, “Someday I hope you have children, and they’re just like you!” might ring a bell. Not that I was a perfect child, but I can honestly say I never actually heard this uttered.

Yet, here I am. With a child, and she’s JUST. LIKE. ME.

For as long as I can remember I have always had a love hate relationship with sleep. My parents used to say it was my fear that I would miss something really fun that kept me awake. Whatever the reason falling asleep quickly and easily has always been a struggle for me. It seems the minute my head hits the pillow, my brain goes into overdrive, concocting brilliant creative ideas, that leave me plotting and planning late into the night. 

Up until about a year ago Miss M was a champion sleeper. If she was tired she would announce to whoever was listening that she wanted to go “night-night”. Then suddenly some vital developmental switch was flipped and we were introduced to the  Bedtime Stalling Tactics.

Perhaps you recognize a few?

Questions: Once tucked into bed, with parents backing out the door the child will have various life or death, must know the answer now, or they couldn’t possibly go on, incredibly important queries. Miss M’s favorites have to do with if she will be going to her sitter’s in the morning, what we are having for dinner the next night, and most importantly if she will have to take a nap the next day.

Like I said, LIFE OR DEATH!!!

Stuttering: Your previously speech capable child will suddenly develop a stutter while asking the aforementioned “life or death” questions, or in Miss M's style, 

“Wait, Mama! I have to tell you something… um… um... but, but, but.”

Sure that the longer she draws the statement out, the longer she’ll get to stay awake, my cool response is, 

“Enough! Get your BUT to sleep!”

Excessive Affection: Your child will suddenly crave affection as if you were leaving town and never returning. This one’s a tough one, because what parent can possibly turn down a hug and kiss from their child.

Especially one with Working Mom Guilt! Can children smell guilt as well as fear?

As Mr. Man and I are tucking the blankets around her and turning off the reading lamp, Miss M will plead for one more kiss, one more hug, “a BIG hug this time”, lots of kisses…. *sigh*

The Perfect Sleeping Conditions: Suddenly every single aspect of your child’s sleeping environment must be perfect, or they won’t possibly be able to fall asleep. Have you ever heard of "The Princess and The Pea"? Well in our house, we have a Princess, but instead of a stack of mattresses, and teeny tiny legume, we have,

“Mommy the bathroom light needs to be on, and the hallway too, and don’t forget the nightlight... Daddy, door open please, oh… but not that wide, and No! More, that’s not wide enough, and actually I changed my mind, please turn the bathroom light off, and where is my teddy-book-dolly-flashlight-water…”

Then finally we come to the slam dunk of all bedtime excuses,

The Nightmare: Having fertile imaginations and a limited understanding of the world, all children are prone to nightmares. When your child is scared and screaming, any parent will find themselves on their feet in a heartbeat, racing to save the day. Except, when the child figures out it’s an easy way to dodge actually going to sleep. With a stunned look on her face the message is,

“How can you possibly send me back to bed, when I just dreamt of killer teddy bears trying to eat me alive!” 

While Mama’s "heartless" reply is,

“It's only been 3 mins since I kissed you goodnight for the 1 millionth time.  You haven’t had time to  even fallen asleep yet. Nice try short-stack! GO TO BED!”


How about you? Can you relate? Are you a parent who has encountered some seriously ingenious bedtime excuses? Or do you remember throwing some zingers your parents’ way?  The stage is yours, I love hearing your stories!

I’m thinking of investing in a stack of mattresses. At least they would keep her in bed!


1 comment:

Karen said...

Great job!

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