Family Magazine

The Bedtime Procrastinators

By Monicasmommusings @mom2natkatcj

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Is bedtime as fun in your house as it is in mine?  The day is done.  It has been a long one.  You’re winding everyone down and you just want them to go to sleep so you can have some peace of your own.  Of course the kids aren’t quite on the same wave length as you are.  While you might know they are in desperate need of sleep, they don’t want to miss out on one single second of all the fun.  No matter how well you have that bedtime routine down there’s always room for excuses and dragging things out a little longer just to get a few more minutes of awake time before they are off to slumber.

And over the last few months I have been through the gamut with my youngest and getting her to sleep.  First I was in her room sitting on her floor listening to her cry til she finally wore herself out and settled down to sleep.  Then, she wouldn’t even sit through the bedtime story without a fight before I put her to bed which then resulted in a few minutes of tears, but it didn’t last long at all.  And now we are onto full swing procrastination with her.

Her new thing every night is she has to say good night to each individual person in the house over and over again.  Even from her crib she’s yelling, “Night mama!”  If I don’t respond back she repeats it louder.  Once I say goodnight again to her she moves onto the next person she wants to wish a good night to and same thing.

It doesn’t last too much more than five minutes or so.  And it’s way better than the crying so this I will take, but it got me thinking how other kids procrastinate bedtime.  I asked on Facebook and it seems we have some world class procrastinators out there.

It Doesn’t End In Toddlerhood

I hate to break it to all you toddler parents, but the bedtime procrastination doesn’t end.  My older children do it too.  Just five more minutes of this TV program.  Dawdling putting on their pajamas.  The announcement of bedtime and the, “but mom…” response follows.

You think they are in bed and they come out to use the bathroom, which you could have sworn they were just in before you sent them to bed.  Then there’s the, “Ooops, I forgot to get the cat” excuse.

All for just a few extra minutes to not go to bed.  My oldest two stay up to read.  Sometimes it’s to each other.  Sometimes it causes fights.  I don’t mind the staying up to read as long as they are in their rooms and quiet about it.  They aren’t always quiet though.

My five year old actually talks himself to sleep.  He isn’t one to come out after he’s in bed to try to stay up later.  He tries stalling before bed.  With the one more story mom.  Or I have to tell you something.  My favorite is the, “Mom, can I ask you something?”  When I tell him yes he’ll say something like, “I love you!”

“Awww, that’s sweet I love you too, but that wasn’t a question”, I tell him.  Then he has to try to figure out how to ask me a question.

Every night I tuck him in and give kisses and tell him not to let the bed bugs bite and he has to go through a whole bunch of other things he doesn’t want to bite me.  “Don’t let the elephants bite, or the monkeys bite, or the giraffes bite.”   It’s just a part of our bedtime routine now.

I wouldn’t even say it bothers me.  I find it funny that my son tries to get creative with his statements as questions and his listing of things he doesn’t want to bite me.  Sometimes he gets silly and will say don’t let the purple elephants bite which we always laugh about.

Even the big girls it’s just a part of our day.  Sometimes it seems to go too far and drag on longer than other times and I’ll get a little short with them, but most of the time it’s just another normal part of our day.

Everyone has their thing and their way of procrastinating bedtime and it doesn’t stop, it just changes the older they get.  One day I’m going to miss our bedtime moments terribly.  Maybe I’ll be the parent who calls them up every night to tell them to go to bed just to hear the excuses and stall tactics they use to get out of it.

How do your kids procrastinate bedtime?

Don’t forget about my Q & A.  Ask me any question you have.  Whether it’s about raising older children or my thoughts on blogging or even my views on some political thing, I’m still looking for more questions to answer here.

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