The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

June 21, 2013

Battling a toddler for bed

I must have missed the memo, but when did going to bed become such a battle?

My wife and I don’t have the problem. When I lay my head down on the pillow, I’m out, thanks to the exhausting effects of chasing around a 3-year-old girl all day.

However, that toddler seems to have warped into a night owl overnight, thanks to an overabundance of energy circulating through her body.

Despite the sun staying out much later, making it difficult for parents to put children to bed at normal times, we still stay within the 7 to 7:30 p.m. range for lights out. No matter how light it is, we still try to conserve a few hours of quiet time in the house.

Lately, though, when the lights go out, the party is just beginning in my daughter’s room.

First off, it’s a battle royale to get those lights off. We pick three books each night before bed, and once those are read, it’s time for bed. We’ve done that for the past two years, but for some reason, it’s a shock every night when we finish the third book that we’re done for the night.

“One more book,” she says to me each night. “Mom said I could.”

That’s interesting. Especially since Mom was the one who instituted the rule. She’s only 3, but she’s already starting to use my wife and me against each other.

But I’ve learned my lesson. In the past, I was weak, and let her rule the evening ritual, but not anymore.

She whines, but eventually lays down...for a moment.

Once she’s finished asking me to sing every song ever recorded, she has an epiphany that all of sudden she has to use the bathroom. That’s odd, especially since she went to the bathroom only a few minutes before.

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