Dadlando weighs in: Bedtime is always a struggle.

Bedtime is always a struggle, and sadly last night, I was outsmarted again.  Our three-year-old’s bedtime routine, while difficult, has always had a rough outline to it: bed, potty, one more hug, ice pack from the freezer, ripped out hair bow back in hair, sip of water, and re-tucking in blankets.  

Last night though, I was caught off guard.  Instead of getting out of bed she called me into her room to hit me with a series of questions. 

What happens if you don’t ever sleep?
Well, eventually you just fall over and pass out.
Can you show me?
::So I fall on the ground for her::
Hahaha, do it again.

What happens if you don’t go potty?
If you don’t ever go potty you’ll have an accident.
Can you show me?

What happens if you don’t have a pillow?
Then you just have to go to sleep without one.
And it wouldn’t be soft?
Exactly.  Go to sleep.

What happens if you never drink water?
Are you just asking me questions so you don’t have to go to sleep?

Well, at least she is honest.  It got me thinking though, how much should I let her break the rules to encourage her critical thinking? I could see the wheels turning in her head, trying to find a way to stay up later.  I love seeing her think she is being clever, too.

Questions are much better than her getting out of bed multiple times and the inevitable tantrum.   I hope this is a sign of things to come.  I might not get her to go to bed any earlier, but now I feel like maybe she is learning important things about bladder control, insomnia, and how to rule the world with just a question.

What’s the strangest question your kid has ever asked you?  What tricks do your kids have for stalling bed time?  Who taught these children how to be world champion manipulators?

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