It’s 8:35pm. The house is quiet. I just switched the TV channel from Disney Jr. to HGTV. My grown-up snacks are already out and being consumed – wine, ice cream, potato chips. The children are snuggly tucked into bed. I’m just about to start some chores (check Facebook, vent about my day via text message with my sisters, shop online, etc.) and relax a little while listening to Joanna Gaines talk about renovating a kitchen and stuffing my face with chips. And then I hear it.
The creak of footsteps on our hardwood floors.
The sound is so soft. I strain to listen. My heart begins racing and I start to sweat. I silently pray “Please be my imagination. Please be my imagination. Please be my imagination.”
Tensely listening for a few moments, I hear nothing. I relax. It was my imagination after all. Parenthood is making me paranoid.
I turn back to my wine and smartphone. And then I see him, right there in the middle of the room staring at me.
You may be thinking this sounds like a horror movie. And you’re right, it is pretty damn horrifying. My 3-year-old is not snug in his bed. He’s wide awake and up AGAIN.
“WHY THE F*#K ARE YOU AWAKE?” (I think inside my head.)
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT OF BED?” (I sternly ask out loud.)
My 3-year-old whimpers, “I need more water.”
This is just one of the thousands of excuses Owen uses to get out of bed and come bother us. There’s no way he needs more water. His room looks like that little girl’s in the movie Signs; there’s enough water in there to satisfy every runner who finishes the f@#king NYC marathon.
“You have PLENTY of water, Owen.”
“But I need fresh water. The water in my cups is old,” he whines.
I consider grabbing some rope, duct tape, and super glue before dragging my child back upstairs to his bed. Why can’t children sleep in crates like a dog? I mean it’s not really THAT inhumane. I’d sleep in a cage if it would keep my kids away from me for 8 hours.
This bedtime routine happens nearly every night. The struggle begins as soon as I suggest that the hour for sleep is approaching. Generally, in response, my child exclaims something like “Are you kidding me?? I didn’t even have dessert yet.” The arguments and excuses keep on coming after that. I get through the hours until he’s finally sleeping with a ridiculous amount of threatening and a lot of swearing (when he’s out of earshot).
Owen pulls so many bizarre excuses out of his ass for getting up to come get me or his dad; I have to give him points for creativity. That little shit can think up some crazy reasons.
Here’s a short list of reasons he’s given us recently for why he’s not in bed. I can’t give you a full comprehensive list of every excuse he’s ever used or this post would be about as long as the Bible.
Reasons Why My Child Is Not In Bed
- “I need more pillows.”
- “I need less pillows.”
- “I need you to fluff my pillow.”
- “I don’t like my covers on me.”
- “Can you fix my covers? They won’t stay on me.”
- “My blanket is not folded. It needs to be folded.”
- “I forgot to flush the toilet.”
- “Mommy, can I close my eyes now?” (I shit you not, he gets out of bed to ask me this.)
- “There’s a bug in my room!!” (Okay, there actually was one time but don’t tell Owen.)
- “I need a new, flat tissue. The one I have is wrinkled.”
- “I need more fresh water.”
- “I spilled my water.”
- “I don’t like this cup. I need a new cup.”
- “I need another tissue.”
- “I don’t want this tissue anymore.”
- “The dog is in my room!”
- “My pajamas are twisted.”
- “I have to pee.” (Being in a room with that much water, I would have to pee just looking at it too.)
- “I pooped and I need you to wipe my butt!”
- “I have a hang nail. I need Daddy to fix it.”
- “I think I have a boo boo.” (There is no boo boo.)
- “Mommy, there is lint in my toes!”
- “There’s a string coming out of my sock.”
- “My hair feels weird. It is poking me.”
- “I had a bad dream. The dragon in my dream said ‘I’m going to kill you, Owen!’” (Pretty sure he heard me say that the last time he got out of bed.)
- “I’m hungry. I need a snack.”
- “I think I need to fart.” (Thanks for sharing.)
- “I don’t want the teddy bear in my bed!”
- “I need my teddy bear!”
- “My knee itches. Can you scratch it?”
- “Mommy, there’s a booger on my finger!”
- “Daddy, there’s hair in my mouth!”
- Crying hysterically, “WHY is the sun taking SO long to come up? It’s TAKING FOREVER!” (So he’s not a vampire, but he does like to stay up all night.)
What excuses have your children used at bedtime? I’d love to know I’m not the only one being tortured each night, so please share!