My wife and I usually split bedtime duties. We each take 1 daughter and handle their respective routines. Both girls have their things that they like to do and it turns out they both do their best to manipulate us differently.
Sometimes, when my wife and I recap, I’ll tell her about some of the things that happened at bedtime and she’ll have no idea what I’m talking about because the routine is completely different for her. Something tells me the girls have a Far Side type relationship with each other where they are communicating and coordinating without telling us:
Juliannia: “Hey Chloe, Daddy will totally stay in your room and read you more books as long as you ask for the next one right before the end of the current one. If you give him a chance to finish a book, he’ll use that as an opportunity to get you in your crib.”
Chloe: “Hey, Julianna, Daddy will totally just hang out with you and not put you in the crib if you show an interest in the dark looking shape on the wall that mimics everything you do once he turns out the light.”
The whole thing is pretty funny. We totally know we are getting manipulated and its fine. I tell myself its because they want to spend more time with us, not that they are just stalling going to bed.
Here are some highlights in no particular order or daughter:
- Default: Both girls love reading books so we do that first.
- Listing which “friends” will be sleeping in the crib tonight
- “Ziplining” into the crib which involves a flying motion around the room a couple of times
- Playing with the shadows on the wall
- Staring at the clock and waiting for the numbers to change. This one in particular interests me. Let’s say the clock says 7:35. Julianna will look at it and say something like, “Daddy, let’s wait for the number to change to 12.” Now, I am pretty sure she doesn’t know how to tell time yet but wouldn’t that be the ultimate stall tactic? I respond with, “Nah, let’s wait for it to turn to 7:36.”
They both end in a similar way (most nights):
Daddy: “Chloe, I love you. Time for bed now.”
Chloe: [Standing up] “Whatcha doin’ daddy?”
Daddy: “I’m going night-night. Love you.”
Repeat x 20 until I finally walk out. She then talks to herself for 20 minutes.
Daddy: “I love you Julianna. Bed time. Daddy is going to bed too. (see lying to your kids)”
Julianna: “I love you a billion-pillion.”
[Start to close door]
[Start to open door]
Julianna: “You can go downstairs and put the dishes away and then go to the potty before you go to bed…”
Daddy: “Ok. Thanks. Goodnight.”
Julianna: “…you gotta make sure you put your underwear on after you go to the potty.”