I love bedtime with my kid. We crawl into her bed, settle ourselves among the sea of stuffed animals, Pillow Pets, and books, and I finally have her captive in one spot where I can ask her about her school day. It's blissful. But then I get up to go downstairs to do all my important adult-after-kid-goes-to-bed things -- OK, OK, to veg on the couch with my iPad and the TV remote -- and that's when the drama begins.
As every parent knows, putting your child to bed is easy. Getting them to stay in bed takes Harry Potter-style wizarding skills.
Kids will make up ANY excuse not to stay in bed. No really, their imaginations know no bounds! Behold just a few of the wild and wacky delay tactics kids use daily (nightly?):
1. I have to pee.
2. I need a drink of water.
3. That drink of water made me have to pee again!
4. It's not dark out yet.
5. It's too dark; I'm afraid!
6. I'm just checking to see if you're still up.
7. [Fifteen minutes later] Oh, I guess you're still up, Mom.
8. [Ten minutes later] I thought you'd be in bed by now, Dad.
9. I just wanted to say good morning! [Nice try kid!]
10. I forgot to tell you I love you.
11. You tucked me in, but I had to get my book when it fell on the floor, so I need you to tuck me in again.
12. It's not fair; you don't have to sleep alone!
13. My nightlight is too bright.
14. My nightlight isn't bright enough; I can't read by it.
15. My belly hurts!
16. My foot hurts!
17. I just scratched my bug bite that you told me not to scratch, and I'm bleeeeeeeding!
18. Can I have a Band-Aid for this [points at skin completely devoid of anything even resembling a boo boo]?
19. I need a hug!
20. I need another hug!
21. I didn't kiss Daddy.
22. I kissed Daddy, but I didn't want to make you feel bad. I want to kiss you too, Mommy.
23. There's a giant bug in my room [which will have mysteriously flown away when you get there, Mom].
24. There's a giant bug OUTSIDE my room.
25. But I didn't finish the daily challenge on [insert name of pointless video game here], and if I don't do it, I'll lose EVERYTHING.
26. I want to know what happens next in the story. Just one more chapter, please?
27. My stuffed animal fell out of bed [and I walked past it, down the hallway and all the way down the stairs to ask you to pick it up].
28. I didn't say good night to the guinea pig.
29. My shadow is really scary!
30. I thought you were lonely out in the living room without me.
31. Oops, I didn't finish my homework.
32. Can we go over my spelling words again?
33. I want to make a picture for my teacher because she's so cool!
34. What's this word in Ramona the Pest mean?
35. I forgot to tell you something REALLY important!
36. Can the cat come sleep with me?
37. [Twenty minutes later] The cat is snoring, and it's keeping me awake!
38. Can we have pizza for dinner on Friday night? [This will be asked on a Sunday night.]
39. Where is heaven?
40. [Five minutes later] Is GG-Pa in heaven?
41. [Two minutes later] What about Taylor's hamster? Is there hamster heaven?
42. I can get up now; I'm not tired anymore.
43. I had a nightmare!
44. I had a good dream, and I want to tell you about it.
45. I smelled food.
46. Did you make my lunch for tomorrow yet?
47. [Five minutes later] Just making sure you put PB&J in my lunch for tomorrow.
48. [Two minutes later] Wait, no, I want ham and cheese!
49. Talking about food made me hungry. Can I have a yogurt?
50. Can I have a drink of water?
And they wonder why parents drink?
What are your kid's craziest excuses for getting out of bed at night?
Images via © iStock.com/antfoto; Jeanne Sager