Dad Kingdom has been doing a lot of product reviews lately. What does that have to do with children’s best excuses to avoid sleeping? Nothing! So, as Monty Python would say… “Now for something completely different.”
It’s not news that children do a lot of things quite badly. They can’t dress themselves very well or tie their own shoes. They are terrible at eating much of anything without getting it on the floor, on their clothes or in their hair. Most kids can’t even color in between the lines!
But, despite their deficiencies, children truly excel in some areas. They can be amazingly perceptive. (How do they always find that annoyingly loud toy that you keep trying to hide?) They have memories so incredible, they need to be studied by scientists. And, above all else, children kick ass at making up the very best excuses! Especially when it comes time to go to sleep…
So, not all of their excuses are home runs. A few are comical, but ultimately not successful diversions. These few didn’t make the top 5 best excuses, because they aren’t accomplishing the child’s mission. Of course, that mission is to stay awake until the second coming of Jesus.
The Quick Fix. You want the fan on? Okay, done. You want it off? Fine. Slower, faster, covers, night light? Done, done and done. That only took 2.5 minutes kiddo. Nice try. So, what else ya got?
I’m Not Tired. I love this one. I can’t help but laugh every time. Sometimes my toddler will get mad, then make a cute pouty-face and say “Stop. Laughing. Daddy.” Haha! Sure, you’re not tired. That’s rich. Next!
Absolute Perfection. When it comes time to sleep, kids are like a sensitive petri dish experiment. If the conditions aren’t EXACTLY right, it just ain’t happening. Their cup of water must be precisely 8.25 inches away from the bed frame. The princess Anna doll must be pointed towards Mecca. The nursery rhyme music must be exactly 62.5 decibels. Come on! These type of requests can be exhausting, but ultimately you can handle it. Moving on…
The Spa Treatment. Sometimes a kid just wants to be pampered. Is that too much to ask? Maybe last night your kid wanted a band-aid for “boo-boo” that completely healed weeks ago. Tonight it’s an itch that can only be soothed by lotion or an ice pack or fairy dust from the great Twinkle Bell herself. It’s particularly cute when the kids can’t even keep track of which body part needs attention. 10 minutes ago it was your left leg. Now it’s your right leg?! That’s a dead give away. I’m on to you and your stalling tactics!
Desert Oasis. Kids always need a drink at bedtime. It doesn’t matter if they had a gallon of juice with dinner. The bed suddenly becomes drier than the Sahara and they’ll die without a cup of water! Even better, sometimes water isn’t good enough. “Blue juice!” they demand. What? We don’t even have blue juice! Well, you know who better get their ass in the car for a late night grocery run…
Gone Girl. It never fails. Your kid wants whichever doll or stuffed animal is the absolute hardest to find and they can’t sleep without it. Where does this uncanny ability come from?! The best excuses at bedtime require a time commitment. My daughter is an expert at this diversion. She might have the right doll, but it’s wearing the wrong outfit. Shit. Now we have to spend 15 minutes searching for a tiny outfit before realizing it’s at Grandma’s house. Lately, she’s insisted on sleeping with 3 inch tall (practically microscopic) princess Elsa. Lord, help me.
Wardrobe Malfunction. Let them pick out their pajamas. Let them dress themselves. Still, it won’t matter. They’ll still find something wrong. Suddenly, they hate these pajamas. Or, they get settled in, only to decide they’re too tight. Socks?! No, I hate socks! Did I say pajamas? I meant shorts. I want shorts… with a goose down vest… and… a sweater made of baby kittens. Then, if you actually let them change their pajamas, they’ll use that as an opportunity to run around. Good luck with that.
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER
You probably guessed it. The one thing I haven’t mentioned yet… Potty Break! As far as bedtime’s best excuses go, this one is a golden bullet.
Who cares if they just went 30 minutes ago! It’s the perfect excuse trifecta. It takes time. It takes energy (instead of calming them down). Most importantly, it can’t be denied. There’s nothing you can do, especially if their potty training is still questionable. Dare you say “No” and risk having to change the sheets at 2 o’clock in the morning? It’s basically a cutthroat game of bed-wetting chicken. Who’s going to blink? Let’s be honest. You are.