The kids will come up with any excuse to avoid bedtime!
My children are not usually bad sleepers, once they’re in bed. But getting them there in the first place and to stay there is a whole different matter. They could write the book of excuses for not going to bed. Here are some of my favourites.
1. ‘Mummy, I’m sorry to come down but I had a bad dream and woke up.’
Erm, no, you didn’t have a bad dream because to have a bad dream would mean you’ve actually been to sleep. And there is NO WAY you’ve managed to go to sleep and have a dream traumatic enough to wake you up within 15 minutes of me putting you to bed. Nice try though.
2. ‘Mummy, I can’t go to sleep because my brain is itchy, I miss our red carpet and I’m worried about my biro drying up.’
Yes, my eldest daughter once said this. This exact combination of concerns. I didn’t know whether to call the psychiatrist or get her IQ tested in case she is incredibly intelligent (by which I mean manipulative). In any event, I’ve no idea how you even have an itchy brain, the red carpet was blooming awful and if she were really concerned about her poor, drying out biros, why not try REPLACING THE LIDS? Give me strength.
3. ‘I can’t sleep Mummy. I’ve tried really hard but I just missed you because I haven’t really had any time with you today.’
This is any one of my three kids playing the ‘three kids’ card. I thought I was the only one who played that, you know, to get out of stuff or as a reason for being late (or not turning up at all). Yes, they’ve learned from the master. This excuse can work depending on how tired I am. Because, let’s face it, they’re going straight for the heartstrings and my guilty conscience. Damn you heart and damn you conscience.
4. ‘I need to tell you something.’
Okay, so now you’ve got my attention. Not just because I’m nosy but also because I don’t want to be a mum you can’t turn to. Why you couldn’t talk to me after school when I asked you how your day was and you looked at me blankly, I’ll never know. But go on. Is everything okay? Are you worried about something? Cue lots of ‘erms’ and ‘ahhhs’ as they try desperately to think of something, anything to tell me. This is stalling at its very best. And the worst bit is, this excuse works every time because what if one day they really do need to tell me something? Argghhhh!
5. ‘Mummy, I just want to show you this drawing I did for you.’
This is another emotional manipulation technique used frequently by my eldest. The two year old and four year old haven’t cottoned onto this yet. Actually, the two year old is the least of my worries as he’s still cot bound so can’t escape even if he wanted to. Basically, the seven year old draws a nice picture and then puts some words like, ‘Dear Mummy, I love you so much. You’re the best mum in the world.‘ You’ve got to have a heart of stone to put someone straight to bed after being presented with that, right? So of course, she stays up for another 15 minutes whilst we discuss what the drawing’s about and then she has to have a biscuit because ‘I’m hungry‘ and before I know it we’re watching Sam and Cat on Netflix and I’ve been utterly duped. Wow. I really am crap at this bedtime stuff.