The nightly bedtime debacle

There must be someone else who loves that feeling at the end of the day – when you cocoon yourself in the duvet, your toes slide down to the end of the bed and your whole body exhales with relief?

It’s such a lovely sensation, I don’t understand why my kids think I’m committing such a terrible, heinous crime when I put them to bed.

The boys share a room and if – after cajoling them through the whole bath, teeth, book routine – they would just let me turn the light out and go downstairs while they kept each other company (isn’t that why you have two children?), I’d be a nicer person.

But, no, instead they get hyped up, keep themselves awake and compete for my attention like their lives depend on it.

If I leave the room, LB – who’s still of a clingy age – tantrums until there’s so much adrenalin pumping round his little body he might as well be doing a bungee jump.

It’s easily the most frustrating part of my day, especially now I’m back at work for a while. Aside from a bleary-eyed rush in the morning, the bedtime debacle is the only interaction I get with them during the week – and on a bad night leaves me with a 20-minute long evening by the time the circus finally subsides.

It all goes a lot smoother when DH is home, so I’ve started doing something rather underhand when he’s away. If you compare it to drugging them with sleeping pills (which has crossed my mind) or leaving the house when they behave like this (also tempting), it’s really not that bad.

I say to the boys, “Daddy’s on the phone. He’s calling to see if you’re in bed,” then I pretend to talk on my mobile, shaking my head, umming and making conversation at appropriate intervals.

It works so well, I’ve rolled it out now to saying I have a hotline to DH (1-800-DADDY) wherever he is in the world.

It’s only backfired once, when BB wanted to talk to him and so – like a family friend who used to call Father Christmas in Lapland for us when I was little did – I pretended DH had been cut off.

I really don’t mean to make DH the bad cop when he’s not even here, but now when I bring the milk upstairs, I grab my phone – it’s either that or have SuperNanny on speed dial.

2 thoughts on “The nightly bedtime debacle

  1. I well remember the goofing-off that went on in the bedroom after lights-out when my boys were small (and in bunk beds, no less.) It always seemed that, just as I’d settled down under the duvet with my book, the call would come. If having “Daddy” on the phone works – I say, do it!

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