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The 4 Easy Steps to Bedtime With Small Children

October 29, 2014


For the majority of parents, there are 4 simple and basic steps to getting your child to bed.

 

{insert the sarcasm here}

 

 

Step 1: Bath Time

 

 

Tell child it’s time for a bath

 

Child tells you they want to keep playing

 

Tell child they can play two more minutes

 

Start running the water in the tub

 

Add bubble bath

 

Go to child’s room and try to lure them into the bathroom

 

Child tells you his 2 minutes of playing is not complete

 

Drag child into bathroom

 

Start stripping child of clothing

 

Get yelled at by child because they want to do it themselves

 

Watch as child attempts unbuttoning a polo shirt

 

Wonder why you even dress them in anything other than a t-shirt

 

Put child on toilet

 

Child needs to pee and poop

 

Check the status and temperature of running water

 

Wait for the child to finish pooping

 

Check social media

 

Talk to the dog

 

Instagram this pooping family affair

 

Wonder why small children need an audience for bowl movements

 

Anticipate your own poop and shower time – in private

 

Lose track of time and realize the water is still running and the bubbles are growing

 

Tell child to wrap it up

 

Wipe child’s butt

 

Place child in tub

 

Listen to child whine about the temperature of the water

 

Listen to the child ask for more bubbles. 8 times

 

Negotiate the amount of toys that are allowed at bath time

 

Try to rationally explain why battery operated Buzz Light Year cannot take a bath

 

Convince child that he needs his hair washed because he decided to throw sand. For an hour straight

 

Listen to child whine about not wanting to wash his hair

 

Work up the motivation to wash his hair regardless

 

Get in there with that cup of water and Wash. His. Hair. and all the other parts

 

Recover from the hair washing

 

Dry the bathroom floor off from the flood that occurred during hair washing

 

Break the news that bath time is over

 

Listen to child cry about bath time being over

 

Get child out of tub

 

Chase after him with a towel

 

Let the dog out because she also got her hair washed

 

Find child

 

Throw a towel around them

 

Begin chasing the towel child

 

Decide they are dry *enough*

 

 

Step 2: Pajama Placement

 

 

Wrangle naked child and get them to lie on the bed

 

Or floor

 

Or kitchen counter (kidding)

 

Begin putting on underwear/pull-up

 

Answer when child asks what cartoon character is on the underwear

 

Listen to child whine about it not being the right character

 

Find a toy to keep child occupied

 

Wrangle child again because he got away while you were looking for a toy

 

Give child the toy and ask him to be still

 

Listen to child whine because it’s not the right toy

 

Attempt pulling the pajama top over child’s head

 

Listen to child cry because the hole for the head is too small since the kid-pajama manufactures don’t know how to make pajamas properly

 

Apologize to child and promise to buy new pajamas tomorrow

 

Start putting on pajama pants

 

Listen to child whine because these are Toy Story pajamas and he wanted Cars pajamas

 

Make a mental note to purchase Cars pajamas 4 sizes too big

 

Wonder why all the kid pajamas have to fit so damn snug

 

Contemplate giving up and letting small child sleep with no clothes on

 

Regroup and finish pajama placement

 

 

Step 3: Reading/Prayers

 

 

Calmly tell child it’s time to read books and say prayers

 

Listen to him whine about not being tired

 

Ask him to pick out 2 books

 

Reinforce only 2 books when he insists on 5

 

Redirect him from the toys to the books

 

Remind him he only gets 2 books

 

Send him to put away the extra books when he brings 4

 

Redirect him away from the toys. Again.

 

Ask about pee and/or pooping needs

 

Confirm he does not need to pee or poop for the 3rd time

 

Redirect him away from the toys

 

Get him tucked into bed

 

Position yourself in a way you’re able to read the books yet have a successful escape route

 

Open the first book

 

Get redirected because that’s not the right book

 

Open the other book and start reading

 

Finish book with no interruptions

 

Start reading final book

 

Become tempted to skip a couple pages here and there

 

Wonder why kids only like reading the same books, night after night

 

Curse the system because they know when you skip a page

 

Finish the final book

 

Announce prayer time

 

Get redirected again as child requests toys to sleep with

 

Listen as he lists things like, “my baseball bat”, “my larger than life Thomas the Train Steam Engine toy that whistles”, “my aviator hat” and my Lightening McQueen race track, complete with Tow Mater

 

Inform child that not all of those toys are sleep appropriate and try to explain the concept of compromise

 

Realize that a 3 year old has never and will never understand rationality and/or compromise 

 

Settle on the aviator hat and a suggest the cast of *plush* Toy Story dolls

 

As a courtesy, remind child that after prayer time, it will be lights out time

 

Ask child who he wants to pray for

 

Sit and listen as he lists every person he has ever known, every animal under God’s creation, and every favorite food

 

Silently thank God for such a precious soul but really start anticipating that alone time

 

Follow up with an out loud - Amen.

 

Get informed that he was not finished

 

Continue to listen to child now praying for his bruised knee and the ant bite on his toe

 

Follow up with an out loud – Amen

 

Kiss your sweet, precious, adorning baby goodnight

 

Reassure them you love them to the moon and back

 

Tell them sweet dreams

 

Execute the escape plan

 

Cringe and grit your teeth when child says, “wait mommy”

 

Child needs drink of water

 

Tell child no water is allowed after 8 p.m.

 

Listen to child cry about water deprivation

 

Tell child he can have a drink in the morning

 

Kiss your sweet, precious, adorning baby goodnight

 

Reassure them you love them to the moon and back

 

Tell them sweet dreams

 

Execute the escape plan

 

Cringe and grit your teeth when child says, “wait mommy”

 

Child says he needs to poop

 

Reassure him he pooped enough when he sat on the toilet for 20 minutes just prior to his bath

 

Kiss your sweet, precious, adorning baby goodnight

 

Reassure them you love them to the moon and back

 

Tell them sweet dreams

 

Execute the escape plan

 

 

Step 4: Lights out/Parent Walks Out

 

 

*Finally* turn out the lights and walk out

 

Shut door

 

Quickly walk to master bed/bath area and dream of soaking in the tub. Alone

 

Start your own bathwater

 

Look at the clock and realize child’s bedtime took entirely too long and contemplate just going to bed

 

Say screw it and go ahead with bubble bath plans

 

Find a good book

 

Undress

 

Take book and social media with you into the tub

 

Get positioned into tub just right

 

Open social media to read about all the other dinner time/poop time/bed time horror stories

 

Smile and silently gloat because your kid is in bed and your day is DONE

 

Hear the bathroom door open…

 

 

 

“MOMMY??”

 

 

 

::hand meets forhead::

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