I’ve always been glad that Ali’s never been a fit-pitcher about bedtime. But what I’m starting to realize is that by using sweetness and toddler-logic, she’s WAY more conniving than that…

It starts early, as she senses that the time of bed is approaching.

“You’ve got five more minutes on the trampoline, okay?”

Her wheels start spinning, as she continues to spin on the trampoline…IMG_8255

“Five BIG more minutes, okay?”

“Okay. Five BIG more minutes.”

This continues until the count is down to one BIG more minute, all of these minutes, of course, calculated in a subjective Mommy way, that has nothing to do with the requests to make them BIG.

Then it’s time to start moving upstairs.

“Can I please eat some of my Noah’s Ark Candy House?”

“No, baby – it’s bedtime. Tomorrow you can.”

“Can I please have a piece of Taffy, then?”

“Nope. I told you it was time for bed – no more requests. Upstairs.”

We get upstairs.

“I need a drink – I’m thirsty!”

“Can we play football?”

“Can I wear Mommy’s T-Shirt to bed?”

“I want to lay in the floor for a minute.”

And on and on.

Lately, after leaving the room, we’ve been getting “callbacks” because she needs more kisses. After all, she’s realized we’ll never say “No – NO MORE KISSES!”. So tonight, I preempt this new technique and say, “Be sure to get ALL the kisses you need – how many do you need from Daddy and Mommy?”

“I need five from Daddy, four from Mommy, and four from Me.”

“Okay – we can do that.” I start to kiss her.

“No – Daddy’s come first.”

Okay…Daddy kisses her. I kiss her. And somehow, she forgets to kiss herself.

We all say goodnight.

“Can you sing me a new song of Ashley singing?”


I sing a song, one that Ashley’s probably never sung (especially since I made it up on the spot), but fortunately, Ali doesn’t have Ashley’s entire discography memorized yet.

“What are you going to be doing while I sleep?”

“Daddy’s going to run, and I’m going to do some work.”

“Where are you going to work?”

“At my computer.”


“In my office.”

“Oh. At your computer in your office. Okay. Then what are you going to do?”

“Sit with Daddy.”

“Will there be laughing?”

“Maybe. Good night!”

I head downstairs, and since it’s Chris’ night to run and my night to get ahead on blogging, I begrudgingly break my own rule of No-Monitor-At-Night and turn on the baby monitor – because I can’t hear her scream from my office.

I hear a monotonous chant.

It gets louder, and progressively more whiny.

Normally when I’m not listening, I suppose these chants fix themselves, but since I AM listening, it drives me nuts, and I have a little bit of mercy too, so I head back upstairs.

“What’s wrong, baby?”

“I need a kiss right HERE.”

“Where? I can’t see – it’s dark.”

“Right HERE.”

“Tell me where HERE is.”

“It’s right HERE!!”

I kiss her on the cheek. “Was that HERE?”

“No. Right HERE.”

My eyes finally adjust enough to see that she’s holding up her knee. I kiss her knee, then I get a brilliant idea.

“I’m going to give you some extra kisses on your forehead. If you need any kisses anywhere else later, you can pick up one of the kisses on your forehead and move it to where you need it. Okay?”


“Okay – there’s TEN extra kisses – that should be plenty! Do you need one anywhere?”

“Yes. Right HERE.”

“Okay – lift one off your forehead and put it on. All better?”


“Okay – you have nine more extra kisses if you need them. You need to go to sleep now, okay?”


I head back downstairs, and start to change the laundry out. I here the monotonous chant again. I can’t quite understand it. “I beed ite eer. I beed ite eer.”

She’s bleeding right there?!?

I go up again. “Baby, you’re supposed to be going to sleep. What do you need?”

“I need White Bear.”

I remember that White Bear got taken downstairs earlier. “I’m sorry – you didn’t pick him tonight. He’s not up here. How about Giraffe instead?”


“No more calling me, okay?”

“Okay. I love you Mommy.”

“Good night. Here are a few extra kisses. I love you!”

I’m pretty sure she’ll rank in the 98th percentile in Persuasive Stalling Abilities when she takes her career aptitude test….so she’ll make an AWESOME mechanic, appliance repairwoman, or senator.

12 thoughts on “The Ingenuity of Bedtime.

  1. I understand where you are coming from, except my child wants me to lay down with him and I am a sleep faster then he is.

  2. That IS ingenious. I'm totally stealing your idea of the extra kisses. Do you think it will work with an 8 year old??

  3. Oh goodness…we go through this too! I turn the monitor off until we are ready for bed b/c if not I somehow end up going upstairs five times. K's favorite is, "I NEED you, Mommy. I WANT you, Mommy." It's so hard not to give in when she says it so sweetly.

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