I've Created a Monster

I actually wrote this in my journal back in February, but as my son is continuing his night owl habits, I thought I'd share it here. Because if you swapped the footsie pajamas for cotton pajamas and the cold medicine for a drink of water, this could have been us yesterday.

Well, I’ve managed to pass on one of my strange (I prefer “quirky”) habits. Just like me, my three-year-old son Connor refuses to go to bed once he’s given the opportunity – all the more so if he’s been exhausted all day long.

Today was a perfect example. He was cranky and stubborn and demanding all day – yet refused to even consider a nap after lunch. “Fine,” I thought to myself. “With [my husband] gone on a business trip, I’d rather have you go to bed early tonight anyway.”

But then, at 4:30 PM, amid yet another arm-crossing, eyebrow-knitting, “hmmmmph!” fit, he put his head down on the kitchen counter and fell into a coma.

I let him sleep for 30 minutes or so. But then, I had to wake him. I knew bedtime would be in serious jeopardy if I didn’t.

Of course, waking a child who’s exhausted is easier said than done. I tried moving him, shouting at him, offering him candy. I pulled out my bag of camp counselor tricks – most of which start with “an” and end with “noying.” I sang, I poked, I prodded.

Eventually, I got him to sit up. And like a bear woken in February from his winter hibernation, he slumped in the red chair, disoriented and grumpy, and screamed for the next 45 minutes. (You can only imagine what that did to my nerves.)

And now? It’s 9:00 PM. He’s bathed and freshly swaddled in “lots of moose” footsie pajamas. He’s taken his cough medicine without a fuss and had his nails clipped on all 20 digits. We’ve read two books, and he yawned through the entire recital.

But is he climbing into bed, exhausted and glad for the respite of cool sheets and a warm blanket? OF COURSE NOT! First, he bounded (bounded! He hadn’t bounded all day) into Natalie’s room so he could read books on her bed. (While she slept soundly, tucked under the covers. Unlike him, she was so tired out by her bath tonight, she fell asleep before we could even get her pajamas on.) Then, he came down the hall to see what I was doing. And now, he’s laying on the floor behind me, a stuffy-nosed lump on top of a fleece yellow blanket.

Oh why, oh why won’t he just go to bed?!?

Maybe I’ll remember this the next time I’m sitting at the computer at 1:00 AM reading blogs after an exhausting day of watching the kids.

JUST GO TO BED, YOU CRAZY LADY! You finally have the chance. Take it!


  1. Truly there is nothing as frustrating as a child who won't sleep--I feel your pain!

    By the way, you've been tagged!

  2. Ha! This sounds like my house. How tired does someone have to be in order to fall asleep with a mouth full of food? It always amazes me.

  3. ARGGGG! The only thing more frustrating than a child who won't sleep.....is maybe the realization that you have contributed to his night-owl DNA!!!!

    YIKES! While I miss so many of these childhood days...I don't miss the 'I can't sleep Mama' nights!


  4. AH, I remember those years. Both me and my hubby remember our sleepless nights!
    Great post.
    Thanks for your comments on my blog.
    For Reluctant Entertainers

  5. Nothing like a little sleep deprivation to really rile you up, huh?

  6. i am also bad to sit up late...something about a quiet house and uninterrupted blogging time is just too great to miss..:)