My kids are different in a lot of ways. I mean, he’s a boy, she’s a girl. He’s 12, she’s 5. He’s crazy, she’s crazier. But one thing they do have in common is that they will not let me sleep.
For years, the boy slept in our bed – he had a million reasons why he had to, and most of the time, we just gave in out of exhaustion. Finally, when he was about 6 he stopped and we were thrilled. And mainly, he went to bed pretty easily.
Then the girl came along. At first, she was good about bedtime, but as soon as she realized she had an opinion, she decided to share it with us. And that opinion was: I do not want to go to bed. And she has used every excuse in the book. It’s rubbed off a bit on her brother, too, because why should he in bed when she is up discussing why she is not in bed.
The boy doesn’t have a lot of excuses her can really get away with. He’s too old for monsters in the closet and the scary dark, so he tends to fall back on one of two types of excuses. First up – illness. He’s a big fan of walking out of his room just as I am settling in with my book, putting on his most pathetic face and telling me he has a headache. Or a stomachache. Or his leg hurts. Whatever, anything to get him a few more minutes of checking out whatever is on TV while we discuss it. The other delay tactic he likes to use is the stuff we really can’t argue with. He needs to wash his face. Or brush his teeth. Or put his homework in his backpack. These are things we obviously want him to do, so we can’t really stop him. But the problem, is that he should have done (and was asked to do) these things 45 minutes before. He’s a smart one though and waits until it’s bedtime to suddenly become very conscientious about his hygiene and schoolwork. Also – he will go all the way to the other side of the house to go to the bathroom, instead of using the one right outside his bedroom door. Because even the extra few minutes getting there is a huge delaying success as far as he is concerned.
The girl is also known to use these techniques, but being five, she likes to make her argument in a more dramatic fashion, including, but not limited to:
I need all my (six bajillion) animals in the bed to protect me.
There are scary noises outside.
There are scary noises inside.
I can’t fall asleep. (5 seconds after going to bed)
Something is in my closet.
You called me. (no, I didn’t)
Dade called me. (didn’t)
I’m hungry (she’s not)
I’m really, really hungry (she’s really, really not)
I didn’t even get to watch The Office! (The Office isn’t even on)
It’s on at Weenie’s house!! (It’s not!!)
What if I have a bad dream?
BEARS! I’M AFRAID OF BEARS!!
And my own personal favorite: What about the bats?? Yes- she refused to go to bed for approximately a month because of bats. I told her that there weren’t any bats in the house.
Her: Yes, but they are outside my room.
Me: Bats are good, they won’t bother you.
Her: They can see in my room.
Me: I’ll close the blinds and they won’t be able to see in.
Her: But if you close the blinds, then the bats can press their faces up to my windows and I won’t know!!