Bedtime can be difficult for parents with small children, but our child is especially skilled at bedtime postponement tactics. Yes, I am bragging. Some parents brag about Harvard. I brag about my child’s ability to outwit her parents. It takes a special talent to be this good at postponing bedtime. A very special talent!
At first Tiny-Small engaged in the usual behaviors. She needed a drink of water, the boogie-man-clown monster was under her bed, she was hungry, she wasn’t tired, she just needed to watch one more episode of Daniel Tiger and then she would totally fall asleep…she swore.
We have seen and heard it all, but then she started doing something new. She started fake coughing. At first I thought it was real and I was very concerned, but then it turned out to be fake. A ruse. A well calculated distraction from the inevitable. She could win an academy award for fake coughing.
When she was a baby I thought she was going to be an actress famous for her horror movie scream. Somehow, this fake coughing performance has moved her into the drama genre which is definitely academy gold. At the age of four she has moved past the B movie category and into Glenn Close territory. I am already picking out the mansion she will buy me, in her twenties, and what I am going to wear to the academy awards ceremony. Yes, I will demand to be her plus one. I have earned it.
Those fantasies are the only thing keeping me sane through this bedtime postponement tactic phase. Between making sure she gets enough exercise to be tired every night and the endless trips to get her a drink of water I am often at my wits end by the time she falls asleep. I am often falling asleep before she falls asleep. Or, really, just trying to keep my eyes open through sheer will.
The other night when Jim got home from work I was so tired that I handed the bedtime ritual over to him, laid down on the guestroom bed, and immediately fell asleep. I slept there all night! I was exhausted. Meanwhile, Tiny-Small spins like a top day and night. Her little brain is working over-time thinking up new bedtime postponement tactics. If she decides against being an actress, a dog doctor, or a ballerina I am pretty sure she will have no trouble getting through the Army’s special ops military training.
She will give a whole new meaning to the term “army brat” and as she follows in her father’s military footsteps, I will likely spend my days hoping she hasn’t worn her drill Sargent out too much.
If only I could steal just a little bit of her energy…