When bedtime goes bad

Bedtime isn't quite the hard and fast rule I imagined it would be. The line gets more and more fuzzy every night.

I take full responsibility for that.

See, we fudged a little on bedtime the last couple of weeks. The boys were here, it was a holiday, a little vacation. You know, all those little excuses that make so much sense going in and none coming out.

Last night, I learned the error of my ways when a 9:30 bedtime stretched to 11 p.m. (and beyond for all I know -- I was asleep).

See, you need to start getting ready for bed at least a half hour before bedtime. That doesn't include the bath if it's the night for it. But that's a whole other story.

Last night, I tucked the girls into bed. Surrounded them will dolls and left with a kiss.

Two minutes later I saw Nikki's little head poking out the door. So we did our tuck-in routine again.

The next time I saw her tousled curls, there was no routine, just yelling.

By 10 p.m., both girls were standing in the corner. I was pretty impressed with my quickness of mind when I finally said, "Do you want to stand in the corner or go to bed?"

Katie chose bed.

Of course. Who wouldn't?

I was stuck speechless, though, when Nikki said, "Stand in the corner."

Why do children do that? Why do you give them a choice with an obvious answer and they choose the wrong answer?

I didn't know what to say.

I was totally unprepared for Nikki's response.

And I was ready for bed, so in reality, staying up later while Nikki was standing in the corner wasn't even something I really considered.

Talking about a backfire.

So ... back into bed they went. No toys this time.

I turned out all the lights and then hid outside their door to spy.

Katie and I were a little freaked when she snuck out of bed again (I didn't hear that) and ran into me in the hall.

As I got ready to bellow again, she said in her best little-girl voice, "Mom, I'm sad. Will you take care of me?"

What do you say in the face of that?

I crumbled and we sat in the chair and rocked.

I asked why she was sad.

"I'm just crying," she said.

I asked why she was crying.

"I'm just sad," she said.

I asked her why she was sad.

"I'm just crying," she said.

I gave up and told her a story.

Three minutes later, she was asleep.

I'm not sure I'm up for this challenge.

Maybe if I got a little more sleep I could handle it ...

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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