Why is bed­time such a sur­prise to the chil­dren?

Serve Daily - - FOSTERING INNOVATION - By Joe Capell

Everynight the kids go to bed. Ev­ery. Sin­gle. Night. And yet, al­most ev­ery night it seems to come as a sur­prise. “What? Bed time? You’ve got to be kid­ding me, right? Are you try­ing to tell me you ac­tu­ally ex­pect me to go to bed? This is un­heard of! I won’t stand for this!”

Bed time for the kids at our house is 8 p.m. The two older kids know this. If you were to ask them, “When is your bed time?” they would eas­ily and quickly an­swer, “Eight o’clock.” And yet, when bed times rolls around it is met with shock, sur­prise and dis­dain, as if it were the Span­ish In­qui­si­tion. (No one ex­pects the Span­ish In­qui­si­tion!)

The first step in go­ing to bed for the kids is putting on their pa­ja­mas. Once they get over the ini­tial shock of bed­time, it’s not much of a fight to get them to put on pa­ja­mas. (Why no fight? My the­ory is that ev­ery­one likes to put on comfy clothes, and what’s more comfy than pa­ja­mas?)

Every­thing else, though, is back to be­ing an ut­ter shock and sur­prise. Me: “Did you brush your teeth?” Them: “What? Brush my teeth? What are you talk­ing about? I’ve never heard of this ‘brush your teeth’ that you speak of.”

Me: “Ev­ery night. Ev­ery sin­gle night I tell you to brush your teeth. It re­ally shouldn’t be a sur­prise.”

Them: “Well, okay, I’ll brush my teeth. But it’s re­ally not fair when you give these last-minute or­ders like this.”

And then, af­ter play­ing the sur­prise card, they dig in with the de­lay tac­tics: “Wait. Can I have a drink?” “But, I have to go potty first.” “Not yet. I have to find my stuffed bear.”

“Se­ri­ously. I re­ally have to go to the bath­room.” “Can I read in bed for a while?” “I have to go to the bath­room.” (Me: “Didn’t you just go?”) “Yes, but I have to go again!”

They’ll try just about any­thing to pro­long the non-bed part of the evening just a lit­tle bit longer up to and in­clud­ing go­ing to the bath­room four times be­tween 7:50 p.m. and 8:20 p.m.

But, even­tu­ally, they do go to bed. And then, morn­ing comes and it starts all over again. “What? Morn­ing? You’ve got to be kid­ding me, right? Are you try­ing to tell me you ex­pect me to get out of bed? This is un­heard of! I won’t stand for this!”

Find more funny-ish stuff ev­ery Tues­day and Friday at slowjoe40.com. *** We, and all oth­ers who be­lieve in free­dom as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees. - Franklin D. Roo­sevelt *** No man is free who is not a master of him­self. - Epicte­tus

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