Oh, bedtime! That precious moment when you can finally turn your little perpetual-motion machine off for the night … and then kick back and enjoy some desperately needed Me-Time. But first! You must run the Bedtime Stalling Gauntlet. Never fear. Here, we attempt to give you a leg-up on that challenge by outlining the Top Ten Toddler Bedtime Stalling tactics. Preparation is half the battle. The other half is a solid wine buzz. Good luck out there!
“But, I’m SO huuuungry!”
Usually from the child who has refused all meals, and eaten nothing but one goldfish cracker and half a grape all day long. Especially effective coming from girls, who appear to survive on air for days on end.
The child who generally hides by simply covering their face while standing in the middle of the living room suddenly becomes a master of camouflage when the sun goes down, nowhere to be found.
The wet noodle
When you finally get your hands on them – schoop! – right through your grasp, onto the floor, and off like a shot.
“But, I’m not tired!”
From the child who just gave up their nap, swam for three hours and played hard for another four, they’ve passed the point of exhaustion and slipped into mania. Symptoms include: dilated pupils, stumbling, shrieking, wet nooding.
Oh, you’re gonna be if mama doesn’t get back to Real Housewives before the shit goes DOWN.
Every tooth must be thoroughly brushed and flossed, hands and face washed until squeaky clean. It’s really hard to argue with this one. If only the child who usually looked like Pigpen from the Peanuts showed this level of care on their way out the door.
The endless parental cabaret act
“A song! Patty cake! Another song! A Book! NOOOO! In Elmo’s voice!” Your bedtime act can extend an hour or more. And guess what? There’s NO INTERMISSION. Ever.
“But I missed you ALL DAY!”
Guilt. You’re never too young to start.
Selecting the longest book known to man
Just one book, mama? Berenstein Bears Treasury, it is!
“I want to try the potty!”
Sigh, of course you do.