Every new parent tries to get themselves mentally prepared for the sleepless nights. You expect to be woken up every 23 minutes, you know you’ll have to get your rocking routine down and learn how to perform the half-asleep-breastfeeding act. You know you’ll get woken up by the ear-piercing sound of baby crying. You’ve also seen just how much this sh*t can mess with your mind because you’ve watched your babified friends get ground down to mortals on the edge.
But what gets us through this sleep-deprived torture is knowing it will end. Your babies will grow into toddlers and small children, they’ll slip into a routine, and rough nights will become a thing of the past. You may even learn how to laugh about them one day, as you and your hubby curl up on the sofa with a cheap-ish bottle of red wine and repeat episodes of Masterchef on the television.
That’s how it goes, right? Wrong. Sure, this may be your reality the odd night here and there, but it won’t be every night. Not at all. This is because toddlers and little people have a major fear of missing out even when a) there is nothing to miss out on or b) they have no interest in the thing they are missing out on (wine and Masterchef, for instance). That’s why they fight sleep. The difference is, they don’t do it by crying and screaming like (some) babies. Oh no. They do it by coming out with excuses. Sometimes they’re interesting, other times they are borderline mental, but, more often than not, they are hilarious.
So, without further ado, here are some of the excuses we’ve been faced with that you might want to know about just so that you can try and keep a straight face and not lose the Battle Of Bedtime because of a giggle-fit.
- “I really need a wee”. It’s the classic and it’s annoying, mainly because you’ve asked three times since they brushed their teeth if they needed a wee and got the answer ‘no’ as little as twenty-seconds before you finally said goodnight.
- “I can’t sleep because I’m thirsty”. So then why don’t you take a large slurp or two from your bedtime sippy cup, quench your thirst and then drift off to meet the Sandman? That would make sense.
- “I didn’t give daddy a hug”. What do you mean you didn’t give daddy a hug. You are literally hugging him right now, as you speak to me, which is the third daddy hug you’ve had because you keep making us come back upstairs for hugs.
- “I had a nightmare”. You’ve only been in bed for ninety seconds. How can you have had a bad dream when you haven’t even had time to close your eyes yet? “But it was terrifying”. And cue the crocodile tears. Darn, they’re good actors these toddlers.
- “There was a bat. I saw a bat. Did you know that each bat consumes between 100 and 1,000 insects every night? And they’re loud eaters. That’s what’s keeping me awake.” In all fairness to the little one, there was a bat. It had been living in the attic. But we got that problem dealt with sharpish and yet it’s still being wielded as an excuse, probably because this excuse now carries weight and proof. Clever.
- “I can’t sleep without the light on because I can’t see my room.” You’re not meant to be able to see your room. It’s nighttime and you’re meant to have your eyes closed.
- “I can’t sleep with the light on, it’s too bright.” I have one nerve left and you are well and truly standing on it.
- “I want to read a book.” But you’re two. You can’t read yet. Despite us telling you that the letters above your bed spell out your name, you still don’t know what those “numbers” mean. We’ll read another story tomorrow, okay.
- “I need my door left open all the way.” Which begs the question, why did you close it?
- “I keep trying but this sleep thing doesn’t work.” It does. It really, really does. You just need to close your eyes, relax, think of the things you would like to dream about and let it happen. “Nope. Tried it. It doesn’t work. You’re a fibber. Mummy’s a fibber.”
- “I put the wrong pajamas on.” What does that even mean? We pulled out all twenty-two pairs of your pajamas and you picked the pair you like. “But I don’t like them anymore. I like the Hello kitty ones.”
- “I don’t like the Hello Kitty pajamas.” Brilliant.
- “I need a poo.” How can you possibly need another poo? You’ve somehow managed to do five poos in a single day. This isn’t physically possible.
- “I need to go to the doctor so she can make sure I’m okay.” You’re absolutely fine. “But you just made it seem like I’m doing too many poos. I think I need to get checked out. Tonight.”
- “Can you just stay with me for one, two, three, four, five hours please.” Absolutely not. I can hold your hand for ninety-seconds maximum, but then it’s bedtime. “Okay, four hours.”
- “Oh, I didn’t say goodnight to Pop Pop and G.” That’s because they live two and a half hours away and you’ve never got into that habit. “Well, I want to start saying goodnight to them over the telephone. They probably miss me.” (Only because they don’t have to live with you).
- “I forgot to do my homework.” You’re at nursery for two mornings a week. You don’t get homework. Nice try though.
- “The duvet isn’t the right way around.” It’s symmetrical with the same pattern on both sides. “But I like the poppers being at the top.” No one likes the poppers being at the top.
- “I need to sleep with my Barbie.” Dad goes to fetch her favorite Barbie. “No. All of my barbies.” They’re made of hard, pointy plastic. You won’t be able to sleep. You can have one. That’s all.
Good luck out there!
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.