Both of my kids are now old enough to realize there are certain things they can do to drag out bedtime. We're housebreaking my son, so he has the classic out: "I need to go to the bathrooooooommmmmmm!" Ugh, what can we do to that, say no? After all day of telling him not to pee in his pants, we can't very well now tell him to!
But our daughter, who is a couple years older, is much more advanced in her procrastination techniques. It begins near the end of our bedtime routine, when we sing some "special words." She sings hers slower and slower unless I jump in and keep time. Then comes the real fun.
"I need to go potty."
OK. I'll tuck you in when you're done.
"I need water."
There's some on your dresser.
"My hands are so dry they hurt." (This is a good one, because she knows my hands are awful too. Sharon won't sympathize with this one, but I will. The proud look on her face when I give her lotion is priceless.)
OK, here's some lotion.
"My lips are dry. Can you get my lipstick?" (She means Blistex, and she knows I'll fall for this one too. But at this point I'm pissed and she can tell.)
OK, but this is it. Nothing else, okay?
After that she knows she'd better not ask for anything, so she just starts talking as fast as she can. She starts revealing new details about her day, things her stuffed "fellas" tell her, dreams she wants to have, questions she has about books...you name it, she'll bring it up. On really special nights she brings up how kids at school have hurt her feelings. That's a tough one to walk away from!
Regardless of what she's saying, she's like a salesman - she talks so fast I can't get a word in to say goodnight. So I end up starting to walk out.
"Nooooo! Daddy, goodnight! I love you!"
I love you too sweetie.
[Okay, you know I'm not creative enough to think of ideas on my own. This was inspired by a contest over at the Parent Bloggers Network, and is sponsored by the Sylvania Online Store. Wish me luck in winning some good stuff!]