What the Hell Happened to Bedtime?!?

posted in Funny Stuff Kids Say, Parenting Challenges, Twins, Who needs sleep? on by with 12 Replies

“Mommy?  Daddy?  Are you watchin’ a show?”

“I smell popcorn!  I LOVE popcorn!”

“She’s putting boogers on me!”

“She won’t stop tickling my belly!”

“Bellies are NOT private parts so I can tickle her belly if I want to!”

“My tummy is rumblin’!”

“I need a teeny, tiny, teeny, weeny, little, teeny drink of water.”

My kids used to be great sleepers.  When the twins were babies, they slept happily in their cribs, all night long, at a very reasonable age.  Easy peasey!

Then they moved to toddler beds, and like all major transitions in the lives of little kids and parents, everything sucked for a while.  But then after a month or so, it didn’t.  The girls settled into their new sleeping arrangements and went to sleep at a decent time almost every night.  I came to depend on that time away from them once they were in bed.  Like, really depend on it.  I was addicted to after-the-kids-are-in-bed-time.

Now,  I’m an after-the-kids-are-in-bed-time junkie going through withdrawal.

Because bedtime is completely fucked up.


There’s really no other way to put it.  It’s a battle, almost every night, that often leads to tears, and not just on the kids’ part.  Most nights, they’re up and asking for things or talking to me or arguing with each other or going to the bathroom or turning on lights or doing any of a thousand other SERIOUSLY ANNOYING THINGS long after we’ve tucked them in and closed their door.

Lots of parents struggle with bedtime.  I’m sure it’s pretty standard for three-year-old twins to turn from mostly sweet little girls to raging, maniacal werewolves at bedtime, until they move on to a different delightful childhood phase.  I know this won’t last forever.  And although it’s often annoying at the time, at least some of their shenanigans are pretty hilarious.  Their efforts to postpone sleep are completely transparent, but they think they’re being clever and charming.  Which ends up being sort of clever and charming.  So they do deserve some props for their, um, performances.

Here’s an example of a recent attempt at bedtime stalling:

Feet come thumping down the hallway.  Topless, wild-haired kiddos appear partway down the stairs.

Twins: “Mommy?  Daddy?”

Parents: “Why aren’t you in bed?”

Twins: “We have to poop!”

Obviously, if you’re twins, you have to poop at the same time.  Or at least pretend you do.  Sisterly solidarity!

So we tell them to yell down to us when they’re done.  They scamper off to the bathroom to keep each other company while pooping.

(Notice that we don’t even ask them why they’ve taken off their pajama tops.  It’s not worth it.)

They talk SO LOUDLY.  Pretty much all the time, but especially in the tiled, echo-y bathroom, so we can hear their whole conversation.  It goes something like this:

The Enforcer: “When I’m a gwome-up, I’m going to have my own kids.”

Captain Chaos: “Me too!”

The Enforcer: “I’m going to have a boy and a girl.  And I’m going to have a blue car to drive them in.”

Captain Chaos: “Me too!  But I’m going to have a brown car.  I love brown.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: She’s the one pooping right now.  This might be related to her “loving” the color brown, which she has never previously claimed to do.  Just sayin’.

The Enforcer: “My boy is going to be named Enzo, and my girl is going to be named Garlic.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: WTF?  We know a kid named Enzo, so that one I get, but Garlic?  I’m sure she’ll be a delightful little thing.  Or clove.  Or whatever.

Captain Chaos: “My kids are going to be named…um…Soap!  And Toothpaste!  Yeah!  Soap is the girl and Toothpaste is the boy!”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a classic Captain Chaos move.  When in doubt, simply look to your immediate surroundings for inspiration.

Finally, after an eternity and a half, they’re done pooping so I go up to wipe them.  They tell me all about my future oddly-named grandkids.  All of this talk about the thrills (driving a car and having kids) of being a “gwome-up” has them pretty wired, so I have to lie down with them to get them to go to sleep.  It’s crowded in their bed and I just want to be alone, but they need to sleep.  Finally, they drift off.  My neck is stiff and now it’s too late to finish watching whatever I was watching, so I thump down the hall to my own room.

I get under the covers, but now I’m kind of awake.  I get up and head down the stairs.

Do I smell popcorn?  I LOVE popcorn!  My tummy is rumblin’ and I think I just may need a teeny, tiny, teeny, weeny, little, teeny drink of water…

  • Mack N. Cheese

    raging maniacal wherewolves, check! ps enzo and garlic! ha!

    • ShakespearesMom

      Yeah, I really had no idea that werewolf wrangler would be part of the mom job description. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Elizabeth Catalano

    Ha! And you have double the trouble. My 4y0 has always been a bad sleeper. Stalling tactics all the way. Lately, she can’t sleep because her foot hurts.

    • ShakespearesMom

      Asking for band-aids for alleged injuries is a common one here, too. Let me know if you figure out any magical bedtime solutions!

  • Kristi – Finding Ninee

    OMG!! Love this and hate this because yeah. My boy is five and still still STILL I get the “but I need you to stay here with me,” and the “I need to maybe poop,” and the “tiny drink of water please,” and the “I think there’s a zombie in my closet” which WTF zombies??? We’ve purposely not allowed him any contact with this crap but well, school! I guess there are zomie tags at school. Also? I love popcorn. Maybe, I need some now…

    • ShakespearesMom

      The pooping thing is so annoying because often at least one of them does legitimately need to go. You can’t say no to pooping, and you can’t really make a kid poop faster either. Best of luck with the zombies, and thanks for stopping by!

  • Annie Atherton

    My 5-year old boy, WONDERFUL sleeper… since he was like 3. He would just accept snuggle time was over, and sleep. My 3-year old terror… another story. Half the time, she is sad because Daddy is still at work. She sobs and lays on the floor and follows me around the house with “I waaaaaaaant Daddeeeeeeeeee!” It is sort of sad, and when he gets home, she SPRINTS down the hall and leaps into his arms and it is the most adorablest thing EVER. But I want my after kids go to bed time! I want to play on my phone without feeling like I am neglecting them, and eat cereal without sharing a bite! We allow her to stay awake and read in her bed until she is tired, but her reasons for being out of bed can be: I can’t find crayons, I can’t find my water, I need a baby wipe to wash my face, I need a bandaid because I scratched til I bled!, poop and/or pee, a shadow is making a weird movement, I heard a weird sound… I could go on FOREVER. It is new every single night.

    • ShakespearesMom

      Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one dealing with this, but I feel for you! It’s so frustrating to work all day long, either inside or outside the home, and then not even get to relax in the evening! Best of luck to you!

  • Lorri Brown

    I gave up bedtime with my daughter (now a freshman in college). She would get up 20+ a night (seriously, I counted). So I got her a little touch lamp (not sure if they make those anymore – I think they might have been deemed a fire hazard) and told her she could stay up as late as she wanted, as long as she stayed in bed and read books. She would lay there, happy as could be, looking a books and eventually put herself to bed. I used to worry this was borderline bad parenting. But after having four kids I realize that most parenting can be considered borderline bad parenting if you think about it too much. Your blog is hilarious BTW!

    • ShakespearesMom

      This comment made my day, Lorri! Specifically “most parenting can be considered borderline bad parenting if you think about it too much.” Thank you for being so honest. And I’m so glad you like the blog!

  • wendy jones

    Thanks for the laughs. I too have twin 3 year old girls and a 5 year old girl and bedtime is far from my favourite time of the day. Just two nights ago they had a trash my room party while I did homework with their big sister. I could hear their giggles of delight in turning their room upside down. It was unbelievable, infuriating and yet a time when I thought I should take a photo of this huge disaster zone to show them what they did when they have children of their own or maybe their 21st. So glad I found your blog by accident… Keep writing

    • ShakespearesMom

      I’m glad you found me too! We can’t keep the twins’ dresser in their room because they would empty out the drawers and trash the place. It’s basically a crazy slumber party every night for them. I’m so glad I’m not the only one whose twins do stuff like this – sometimes I think I must be doing something wrong, but aside from strapping them down in their beds, I don’t know what to do! Thanks for reading and understanding!!