Is your toddler an expert at prolonging bedtime? Do you teeter between amusement and irritation as the bedtime routine gets longer and longer and longer…? Both of my children are experts at bedtime stalling- my toddler’s latest technique in an impressive repertoire of bedtime stall tactics is to morph into a dazzling conversationalist as soon as the lights go down.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? My daughter and I have a lovely bedtime routine that ends with rocking and lullabies. Some nights it is serene and relaxing, and others…
Me: Baby Mine, don’t you cry…
Sophie: Where’s Grandma Nel?
Me: She went home to Texas, remember?
Sophie: Where’s Izzy?
Me: Getting ready for bed.
Sophie: Where’s Daddy?
Me: (gritting my teeth) Downstairs.
Sophie: Where’s Santa?
Me: (gently, in a soothing tone) Our voices are resting now. Questions are going night-night.
Sophie: Where are the Wiggles?
Me: (sighing) Baby mine, dry your eyes…
Sophie: Where are the Wiggles?
Me: Rest your head, close to my heart,
Sophie: Where are–?
Me: never to part— they’re in Australia– baby of mine– it’s time for night-night.
Sophie: Where’s Katie and the kittens?
Me: Little one-– they’re in the book, sleeping– when you play,
Me: Because it’s bedtime.
Me: It just is. Pay no heed, what they say…
Sophie: Where’s the turkey?
Me: Thanksgiving’s over.
Sophie: Why? Where’s the parade? (Macy’s, natch)
Me: It’s all done. Thanksgiving’s over. So is Christmas.
Me: It just is. (sotto voce) Let your eyes sparkle and shine,
Sophie: Sing loud. I want loud.
Me: (resuming a normal volume) Never a tear, baby of mine.
Sophie: Where did Thanksgiving go?
Me: From your…
Me: (standing up) From your head, to your toes…
Sophie: Ina rock! Ina rock! (translation- I want to rock)
Me: Good night. You’re not much, goodness knows…
Sophie: Where’s Daddy?
Me: But you’re so precious to me, sweet as can be, baby of mine… (closing door)
Sophie: Where’s Murray? Where’s the Captain?
(I tiptoed into her bedroom before I went to bed. Sleep had transformed her from vexing dictator to perfect angel, her mouth open slightly, curls matted to her forehead, and arms splayed to the side. The cliche is true- they are perfect when they are sleeping.)
Need another parenting laugh? Read HuffPost Parents Funniest Parenting Tweets this week- and I’m in it this time! I’m embarrassed to admit how excited I was when I saw this:
I was also star-struck to see who else was in this week’s roundup: Jennifer Weiner, (the author!) Mommyshorts, Brian Hope Comedy, and Heather Armstrong! Of Dooce! I was hoping sharing the list with them would cause them to become intrigued and follow me on Twitter too, but…
Read all of their Twitter hilariousness here.
Finally, have you heard The HerStories Project’s big news? We’ve announced our next project; our anthology about friendship breakups is tentatively titled My Other Ex: Women’s Stories of Friendship Burnouts, Betrayals and Breakups.
I’m sure many of us have experience with friendship breakups, and we are asking for your help. Writers, check out our call for submissions- we’d love to hear your stories for our next project. We are also asking for people to take our survey about friendship breakups- it’s really short and will help us out tremendously in our next book. Please take a few minutes to fill it out, and spread the word! More information on the submission process and survey here. We can’t wait to hear from you!
This was awesome. I can’t wait to use your line “Voices need to rest.” Congrats on your HuffPo Twitter fame!
LOVE this post so much! We made the HuffPo list once, and I swear it was like winning the lottery! Your tweet made me burst out laughing! And I swear to God, my children live to stall bedtime.-Ashley
oh she speaks the language of my son’s people.
I am thankful that he actually tells us when he wants to go to bed and goes. I say that since we battled through 4 months of colic, we deserve a good sleeper!
So funny! I could have written this post. As I’ve said before, Izzy and my two year old son would get along famously. They could hang out together at bedtime and ask each other endless, unanswerable questions.
That’s great! Mine are a little older, but are still master stalkers at bedtime!
stallers – not stalkers. Sheesh! 🙂
I don’t want to scare you, but my 14-year old STILL does the whole bedtime stalling routine. He pretends he has important questions to ask me and in general, just wants to talk for several minutes before saying good-night. The good news is he’s old enough where I can just tell him to stop stalling, although many nights I still humor him and answer the questions. 🙂 I’m going to take your survey now!
“Ina rock”?? I’m DYING!
Mine goes “Santa buy egg?”, Santa buy baby egg mom?”, “Santa buy daddy egg?” And this goes on and on and on….. LOL Cute for the first 10 minutes. Not so much after that until she falls asleep then she turns cute once again. 🙂
Sounds very familiar!! Except, I’m happy to say that when I put my 2 year old down for his nap today, he laughed and said, “YAY!” That is music to my ears. 🙂
I’m very intrigued by the broken friendships….I have a story, but not sure I can share it seeing as the person is sort of still in my life. Thinking it over though….
Love your blog as always. 🙂
Now don’t those lyrics combined with her dialogue sound just like a nursery rhyme? Think Little Boy Blue…
Where is the boy who looks after the sheep?
He’s under the haystack fast asleep.
Right? She’s trying to turn everything into a nursery rhyme! Dictator? Perhaps. Future poet and lyricist? Yes.
Mine drives me batty at sleep time too! She is the mistress of the stalling techniques…
YAY to your famous tweet! My son is usually fine with bedtime once we actually get upstairs. It’s the before-that part. He has this castle/tent thing. As soon as I get up, he gets in it and hides. Or hides under a blanket. Or cries that he’s “playing in Tu-uck’s house.” But then yeah, sneaking in while he’s sleeping makes me miss him.
Oh my gosh, it’s the same here, I’m cracking up though over your tyrant’s impressive amount of (hilarious) questions!
My little guy excels at stalling. Some of his favorite tactics are (1) Read another book, Mommy! (2) As we are reading his favorite book that we have to read at least 2-3 times a day, when we reach the page about the grocery store that mentions apples, suddenly he wants an apple. Every. Single. Time. But the best was the other night when he woke at 11:30, crying and nearly incoherent when he suddenly decided he needed to brush his teeth or the world was going to end.