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The Fine Art of Delaying Bedtime

Not to get all braggy about my kid (or jinx myself) BUT. . .Mac is a pretty great sleeper.

If I do my job and everything is going according to routine, I can consistently get him into the crib without protest sometime about 9:30 every evening.  And I don’t typically hear a peep until about 8:30 or 9 the following morning.

But lately, our bedtime routine is stretching. . .stretching. . .S T R E T C H I N G towards 10 o’clock. . .and sometimes beyond.

Yes, some nights it’s because we’ve done something in the evening that causes our routine to be delayed.

BUT most nights it’s Mac himself. . .

The clever little devil is obviously working on his bedtime delay tactics.

It started with a sip of water. . .Sure, of course I’ll give you water.  I don’t want you going to bed thirsty.

The following night it was 3 sips of water and a couple of crackers.  Well, ok.  I don’t want you going to bed thirsty OR hungry.

And the next night it was ten sips of water, plus two crackers AND a fresh diaper. . .Sure.  Are you sure you really need a fresh diaper?  Well, Mommy doesn’t want to chance it.  Fresh diaper it is!

The stacks of books he drags to my side for pre-bedtime reading are growing, growing, growing. . .I’m not going to discourage reading.  Of course I’ll read you 10 books before bed. . .but can you at least sip your water and eat your crackers WHILE we are reading?

Several nights later, he so cleverly began to to stop me half-way through the book, making me start over. . .Um, Mommy is really sick of the Jertain in the Curtain. . .You should take your Wocket err Wubbies, WHATEVER and go the hell to sleep already.  It’s 9:57.

In an effort to manage his pre-bedtime expectations, a few nights ago I started saying things like:  “Mommy is going to read one more book and then we have to go to bed.  Please pick a book. . .If you stop me in the middle of the book, I’ll only start reading from the beginning one other time.  Do you understand?”

Last night following my heretofore ineffective warnings about ending story time, he glanced at me devilishly.

He understands.  He understands he has Mommy exactly where he wants her.  

I felt my eyelids growing heavy as he paced around sizing up his next opportunity for stalling.

“Mac!  We have to go to bed now.  It’s late!”  I say dragging myself off the sofa and making my way towards the light switch.

“Re!! Re!!! READ!!!!”  He shouts, bringing me a stack of books.

“Mommy is tired.  We’ve been reading for 40 minutes.  Please let’s go take a snooze!”  I say as I attempt to wrangle him into a corner of the sofa.

He squirms wildly, his eyes darting about.  He’s like a cornered badger, clawing, flailing. . .

He manages to dodge me, shooting off the sofa, running toward the book shelf.  He throws open the doors and grabs another book.

His races back to me, holding the book over his head squealing, “Pressionists!  Pressionists!  Puh-weeeeese?!  Pressionists?!”

So desperate is this child to avoid bed time, he wants to look at a book of Impressionist paintings?!


Talk about the fine art of delaying bedtime.  




7 Responses to “The Fine Art of Delaying Bedtime”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I have the opposite problem. My daughter seems to think it is fun to wake up earlier and earlier. She has always been an early morning kid (6:00-7:00 a.m. range) but since her hip surgery at the end of April she has been happily waking at the pre-butt crack of dawn on a daily basis. Like 3:30-4:30 A.M.!!! I would be awaken to the sound of maniacal giggling. Who wakes up a 3:30 a.m. and thinks it is funny?!?! And it doesn’t make any difference what time I put her to bed or whether or not she takes a nap.
    Thankfully the last 3 out of four days she has made it until 6:00. Mama was getting ready to loose her mind.
    Jennifer recently posted…Camper Dress UpMy Profile

    • admin says:

      3:30AM?!!! That’s NOT funny. Not at all funny. But I guess it’s good that she’s not getting up that early cranky.

      Is she taking medication still following her surgery? Maybe it’s affecting her sleep habits?

      Or maybe it’s just a phase?

      Either way, I hope she becomes more consistent with the 6AM wake up calls. I can only imagine how exhausted you must be. Such a long day when they get up that early.

      Good luck! And I love your bunting fabric for the camper! I love your camper! It looks like a blast!

  2. Love. Smart boy.

    It is June, though. We are careening towards Solstice and our bodies are responding to the sunlight. Hard on your pregnant body though!
    nothingbythebook recently posted…“Please don’t give my daughter an eating disorder. But you will. You will…”My Profile

    • admin says:

      The light might be affecting him. I pull all the shades about 8:30 and his room has black out curtains so I try to make it feel like it’s dark at the desired times. I’m a little afraid he might just prefer to be up late. . .which is when I like to be awake and ALONE. He ruins EVERYTHING! haha

  3. Meghan says:

    haha…. he really knows you if he’s pulling books he knows you like off the shelf instead of his kiddie books – smart boy!
    Meghan recently posted…Showers & ShowersMy Profile

    • admin says:

      We’ve been looking at that book together for a while now. When I started showing it to him, I just figured it would be a way for me to point out objects and colors. But the crazy kid has somehow managed to learn the actual names of the paintings. He corrected me on one of them the other day. It’s amazing and terrifying the things they are able to learn at such a young age.

  4. Dani Ryan says:

    Ah, bedtime. It is constantly delayed on this end, too, but it’s completely my fault. I’d much rather keep my daughter up late so I don’t have to cook 2 separate meals, and to allow my husband to see her for 20 minutes every day, but with his work schedule, it means bedtime gets later and later as the week progresses. But, I keep reminding myself that once she’s in school, we’ll have to abide by stricter bedtimes, and try to just enjoy the flexibility we have right now. 🙂

    I hope you are doing well!!!!

    Dani Ryan recently posted…Best parenting advice I’ve ever receivedMy Profile