My son used to make it really simple. When it was time for bed, he of course would try to get out of bed, but I could very easily say no to things like daddy, I wanna stay up and play, or daddy, I want another story. Problem is, after awhile he realized that even being sweet while he asked wasn’t helping him. So, he did what life does best, and he evolved.
Now, it’s a lot trickier. He knows he’ll get in big trouble for interrupting ‘dad time’ if he comes out with any of the old-school tactics, so he’s figure out how to do it, and never get in trouble, because dad has no clue what the truth ever is.
Daddy, I’m really sad and I’m having a hard time. This is his latest tactic. He knows that I’m concerned about his happiness with all of this transition going on, and he knows that that’ll drag me in there for a talk every time. Of course, when I get in, all he wants to talk about is his new dog Lucky or tell me about the dragon he stabbed in the belly button.
Some others include:
Daddy, I really have to pee. The water is coming out. So I’ll tell him I know he just went potty. He’ll then get a panicked look on his face and insist that he really has to go again. Fine, I say, but hurry!
Then, when he’s finally back to bed from peeing, Daddy, I really have to poop now. No way, Noah! But Daddy, it’s feeling like it’s going to come out! Fine! But if there’s not a poop in the toilet you’re going to be in big trouble! I know daddy. Then, somehow he always magically conjures one up, even if it’s pea-sized little turd that he created with sheer mind power.
Daddy, I need a drink of water. This one I can usually say no to, but sometimes he really makes a good pitch about how he hasn’t had any water to drink and his throat is hurting and the world is about to end as we know it if he doesn’t have “just a little sip”.
Daddy, I’m having a hard time. I love you, Noah, but it’s daddy time. Go back to bed. But I’m really having a hard time. With what? I just am. I just need a hug. If you’ve seen Noah, you’ll immediately know why dad is a sucker for his sweetness like that.
Daddy, I had a scary dream. Noah, you weren’t even in there long enough to fall asleep. But I had a really bad dream. There was a bear, and he was trying to eat me, and now I’m scared. Noah, go to bed!
And those are just a sampling for you of the evolution of Noah and his ability to stay out of bed when he’s supposed to be there. What is dad supposed to do? Tell him he can’t use the potty when one, I’m trying to teach him to run to the potty at night when he has to go, and two, he looks at me like I’m going to make him wet himself?! And, well, all of the others, you can probably see why bedtime can really start to make dad grumpy after awhile!
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing