No kid likes going to bed.
My 6-year-old could be in the middle of getting waterboarded and he’d rather stick that out than have to brush his teeth and go to his room. As such, he’s become a master at putting it off, and at turning every bedtime into a battle.
Every night, when bedtime approaches, he suddenly becomes possessed with the need to do things. Anything. EVERYTHING.
Unfortunately, this includes making Daddy angry.
During the day, Detective Munch often claims he’s bored, despite the fact that he has more toys than I’d ever even heard of when I was a kid. At night-time, though, he’s consumed by activity. There is so much he needs to do he can barely contain himself! None of it matters even a little bit – not even to him – except in the way that doing it slightly extends his non-sleeping hours and more-than-slightly increases his dad’s frustration.
Here’s a list of the things my son suddenly needs to cram into his schedule at 7:50PM:
- Eat dessert
- Finish his latest LEGO project
- Snuggle on the couch with Mommy
- FIND SOME STUPID BULLSHIT TOY THAT HE HASN’T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT IN THREE YEARS
- Drink water
- Where’s Lovey?!
- Wrap up the whining he wasn’t able to get to earlier
- Snuggle on the couch with Daddy too IF THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES TO BUY FIVE MORE MINUTES
That’s only a partial list. I’m pretty sure the dude would offer to do my taxes and run out for a quick oil change if he knew what either of those things were. Sigh.
As every parent knows, your kids’ bedtime doubles as your finish line.
When they go down, you perk up. The night is yours at last! You can grab a drink (assuming you haven’t already), you can watch some adult-oriented TV, you can do other adult-oriented activities (wink-wink!), you can put on a movie and pass out halfway through, you can even go to bed early, which might actually be the right call because god knows your kids won’t let you sleep late.
Those few hours of freedom from the responsibilities of child-rearing are glorious, and they are the light at the end of the daily parenting tunnel. Unfortunately, Detective Munch prefers the darkness (only metaphorically; the amount of lights he needs before being comfortable enough to sleep rivals Wrigley Field).
When his bedtime approaches, he has just one goal, and it is 100% at odds with mine: He aims to extend his day, and it doesn’t matter how. The ends justify the means! Even when Daddy’s temper starts flaring, he doesn’t care! He’s burning the
Which is how we get to the bizarre scenario, at least a few times a week, when Daddy has spent a few minutes barking at a resistant child, only to spend the subsequent few minutes cuddling up with said child once he’s finally under the covers.
Bedtime is actually parenting in a nutshell. All the inconveniences and stress that make it frustrating mashed up with the bonding and tenderness that make it so rewarding.
It’s also why I’m constantly in need of a drink.