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Bedtime Battles

Stalling Tactic #1: Squirm as much as possible so that Mom is unable to zip PJs.

Stalling Tactic #1: Squirm as much as possible so that Mom is unable to zip PJs.


As a mother, I often find myself thinking about the future for my son.  I wonder if he will do well in school, if he will make lots of friends, and if he will be successful as an adult. I think about if he will be into sports and what kind of occupation he will eventually choose. I’m sure every parent wants their child to be talented in their own way and to nurture and use those talents throughout their lives and their future careers.

And I’ll tell you what, after an evening like the one I just had, I’m pretty sure I have discovered one of my son’s most incredible talents – the ability to stay awake at all costs. And I swear, if avoiding sleep was a sport, we’d be headed for the big leagues, baby.

I can understand how an older child can avoid falling asleep at bedtime now and again. I know that children are master stallers – perfecting their excuses like needing a drink of water or needing to use the bathroom or needing just one more bedtime story. However, when I had a child, I didn’t realize that even babies were capable of avoiding sleep. Seriously, aren’t infants supposed to sleep like 14 hours a night or something ridiculous? Not only would my son probably stay up until 11:00pm every night if I let him, he wakes up at 5:30am every single day – no matter what time he finally gives up on staying awake.

After a really long day and a really short nap this afternoon, I thought for sure I had this one in the bag. I figured he’d be asleep before he even finished his last bottle tonight. As it turns out, apparently Grey took a little training in stalling because he has figured out that if he pokes his eyes and swings his legs around simultaneously, he is sure to stay awake.

Our bedtime routine looks something like this. Diaper change, bottle, rocking chair, transfer to crib. On a good night, we do this cycle once. On a rough night, we go through the cycle twice. On a really shitty night, I start taking shots of vodka between cycles because after several cycles/shots, at least I will be asleep (or passed out), even if the baby is not.

I went into Grey’s room, picked him up, and sat down in the rocking chair to start Cycle #3 of our little charade tonight. As I began to rock him, he opened his eyes, looked at me, and laughed. Who knew a 14 month old was capable of thinking his little manipulative, stalling ways were hilarious?? What a little shit. It’s a good thing he’s cute. And all I have to say is this – if I show up to work tomorrow with a hangover, I am totally blaming the baby who drove me to drink during our bedtime battles.


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  1. Kristin Musselwhite says:

    Wow I totally sympathize with you! My youngest will be two in June and he has slept through the night about ten nights in his short existence. We have definitely spent more hours in my recliner than we have in our respective beds. Ugh. If you find a solution please share!

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