The day is over. The moon is hanging in an inky sky. Adorable yawns stretch sweet lips and rumpled pajamas have been on for a while now. It is time for the little ones to go to sleep. You take their hands and lead a parade to their bedrooms.
One by one you go through the routine of bathroom trips and hunting down teddy bears and tucking them in for a story. Then the moment comes when they’re finally in. You see the finish line. And then all H-E-double-hockey-sticks breaks loose, because it’s never that easy. Oh, no. Bedtime is NEVER that easy. Here are just twenty-one of the many, many more things that will likely happen once you get those kids into their beds for the night.
1. Their energy level goes from drowsy child who had many wonderful adventures that wore them out to Tasmanian devil on a case of Mountain Dew.
2. All the questions about their day at school that were answered with shrugs four hours ago now become a hot topic they must discuss in great detail.
3. The decision is made that the three books you just read aren’t enough anymore.
4. Their bladders shrink. Their bowels decide now is the time.
5. Your spouse will roll into the room for what you thought would be a quiet goodnight kiss but instead becomes a hooting, wild wrestling match.
6. You start to become a person you don’t particularly like while putting them back to bed.
7. As you creep out of their room, phones bleat throughout the house as Grandma repeatedly calls until you pick up, laying on a thick guilt trip that she lost track of the time and what’s the harm in letting her say “hello” to them super quick?
8. A deep, desperate thirst settles into the core of their being, requiring much rehydration.
9. The cup you bring the water in is absolutely the wrong one for this important mission because it is red and you should know that their evening water should be served in nothing but the yellow cup (which is probably in the dishwasher).
10. The way you settled their stuffed animals around them is critiqued like you’re a guest on a reality show hosted by the most patronizing judge in the land.
11. Existential questions abound.
12. A reenactment of The Princess and the Pea occurs.
13. They remember the importance of daily flossing and must hop right to it.
14. You put them back to bed again.
15. A previously-ejected monster might have moved back into the closet?
16. You make promises you know you’ll regret once the sun rises just to make this stop.
17. They casually mention they lost a tooth while in the bathroom earlier so they’re gonna go grab that and can you please set it up all nice for the Tooth Fairy?
18. You put them back to bed again with a heads-up that you love them dearly but will remove all joy from their lives if they leave their rooms one more time.
19. The hallway and staircase outside the bedrooms become extra creaky, which you know because they shout that information to you from their beds.
20. Your last “Sweet dreams” goes from sounding like a loving wish to sounding like a threat.
21. And when it’s finally, finally all done, and you’ve made your way to the couch with your snacks to watch that show you’ve been waiting all week to watch, you’re the one who falls asleep right away.