The Toddler's Last Stand

Bedtime is a battle royal in most families of toddlers. I did know that one family who said their kids actually asked to go to bed every single night, and then followed through with it happily, but I can't remember if they were real or a figment of my imagination.

The right half of my brain tells me that this happens because kids are tired, and when kids are tired they get cranky and belligerent and downright bullheaded and unruly. Introduce something that they're not liking so well and you've just given them permission to have the Meltdown Of The Month.

The left side of my brain tells me that kids tantrum and stall at bedtime because it's one last opportunity to make Mommy's head explode that day. Seeing Mommy's head explode is lots of fun.

While Micah is now sleeping in a big boy bed all on his own, he still has the very important job of making bedtime Not So Fun For Anyone. Micah takes his job seriously, too.

Tonight, after I fought to get him up the steps, I had to track him down to put his PJs and diaper on. As I was changing him I saw that he drew a fun picture on his belly with markers. Being fresh out of wipes upstairs, I herded him to the bathroom where I attacked his tummy with a warm wash cloth.

It's funny how fast grumps turn to giggles when you're washing a tummy.

We headed down the hall to his bedroom where he proceeded to choose Just The Right Book to read. This is the boy who has zero interest in books. How can I tell him to put the book back and get to bed if he's reading? I know it's a stall tactic, but he employed it wisely. We read two books together and then I tucked him into bed.

It's probably a really good thing that toddlers aren't in the workforce. Their mad procrastination skills coupled with their super cuteness would effectively bring the world to a screeching halt.

11 comments:

Viv said...

I know that my toddlers have brought my world to a screeching halt, so I suspect you must be correct.

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

I know this scenario all too well. Mine waits until bedtime to pull out the big questions. i.e. Who is God?

P.S. I sent you an email... hoping you got it...

Michelle said...

Ohh yeah, they bring my world to a screeching halt. I can only imagine what they'd do to the workforce :)

I'll have to remember the tummy scrubbing trick the next time the wee ones get grumpy at bedtime. I like it.

Carol N. said...

Hi, I found your blog - I'm so excited! I've known you guys through our flickr group - but this is way more exciting!

As to your post: Oh, boy. I'm worried because Aidan is still in his crib...but I see him eyeing his brother's beds with envy now, and know it won't be long before the big change.

Roger said...

I have a 12-year old daughter that is the master of the stall. She will take, literally, an hour and a half to go to bed. Most of the time (like when I am current with taking my happy pills) I tolerate it. Unfortunately, this has rubbed off on her 10-year old sister.

Their latest ploy is to stay awake until I come down and tuck them in, pray, and say good night to them. This ploy works well, because when I say I'll be down in a minute, they know that it's actually closer to ten - when I remember. Oh yes, they know that Daddy gets easily distracted by something/anything. Plus I'm starting to dislike my stairs.

The best nights are when I actually follow them to their rooms, you can clearly sense the disappointment. ;)

Flea said...

Well he does have that super cuteness thing going on.

mommaof4wife2r said...

that's the truth!!!

utmomof 5 said...

My 10 year old is the worst a going to bed -- worse than the 5 year old and she is pretty bad!!

I am a sucker for books too. Not only at bedtime but at the store too. Hoe do you say "no" when you kids ask for a really great book?

Karen said...

utmomof 5 - I can't, that's why we have quite the extensive kids' library here on every level of the house. Books are so good for kids!

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh, good Lord! I remember bedtimes with a shudder! It was like it was never going to end! Reading stories, prayers, drinks of water, kisses, more water, a trip to the bathroom, answering questions that can't wait till morning, a tummy ache, etc. It went on and on and on and....

caramama said...

Oh, bedtime. Don't get me started!

As for toddlers being in the workforce, I actually think that their ability to get adults to do just about anything would really keep things going. Where they would go, I'm not sure I want to know...