My oldest daughter is usually the easiest of my three kids to get to bed. But the other night, shortly after putting her to bed, she surprised me when she walked into my room. Her excuse for not being in bed? She couldn’t sleep because her “legs itched.”
I told her to scratch them and then go back to bed.
Five minutes later she returned to tell me that she had a feeling there was a monster in her closet. After nearly 15 minutes of trying to convince her that there was definitely not a monster in her closet, I realized that this was just going to be one of those nights. Parents, you know them well. Just when you’re exhausted from a long day and looking forward to some alone time, your kid pulls out every single excuse they can find to not sleep in their own bed.
No matter how well we’ve mastered the bedtime routine, my kids always refuse to go to sleep at night. While I’m over here doing anything I can during the day to sneak in some sleep, they are doing anything they can to stay awake.
1. Eat the dinner they refused to eat an hour ago.
2. Attempt to read a book in the dark.
3. Find the littlest mark on their body so that they can come and tell me they need a band-aid.
4. Drink enough water so that they have to get out of bed to go to the bathroom.
5. Drink their water so quickly that they suddenly need a refill because they are “so thirsty!”
6. Ponder the most complex things in life so that they can get out of bed to ask a million “important” questions.
7. Clean up the toys I asked them to clean up hours ago.
8. Analyze the temperature in their room so well that they can come and tell me that it’s either too cold or too hot to sleep.
9. Decide that they want to change the bedtime routine to include more kisses, stories, songs, stuffed animals, etc.