Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bedtime

Once I was a little girl, and I shared a room with my sister, and we used to get scolded for talking too long instead of going to sleep. I think now I'm getting punished. I've tried a whole variety of methods to make the gigglers drop off, but haven't found anything that really works besides separating them, which has its own problems. So here, for your reading pleasure, is a typical bedtime dialogue between myself, my stepdaughter (6), and the girl I babysit (4).

<everybody uses toilet, brushes teeth, gets drink>
<each of us prays, I sing bedtime song chosen by each child>

- I hot.
- Take the blanket off you, then.
- I'm hot too.
- Take the blanket off.
- I go schoo' tomorrow?
- No, you don't have school tomorrow.
- Do I hafta go to school tomorrow?
- Yes.
- But I don't want to.
- But Mrs. Jones will miss you.
- But I'm gonna be sick tomorrow morning.
- If you're sick you'll have to stay home.
- I'm gonna be sick.
- We'll see.
...

- My arm hurt.
- As soon as you fall asleep, it'll stop hurting.
- My arm hurts too.
- As soon as you fall asleep, it'll stop hurting.
...

- I can't sleep.
- You don't have to sleep, you just have to lie still and be quiet.
- I can't be quiet.
- Yes you can.
- I can't coze my eyes.
- Then don't, I don't care.
- I need my puppy.
- You have your baby.
- But I need my puppy too.
- No, you get your toys before you lie down.
...

- My legs are cold.
- Then put the blanket over them.
- My yegs code too.
- Put them under the blanket.
...

- My head hurt.
- Well, don't spin on the chair and you won't get hurt next time.
- NO! You 'pos say, "You fah seep--"
- Okay, as soon as you fall asleep, it'll stop hurting.
...

- I need go potty.
- You already went potty.
- I need go potty too.
- You both went potty ten minutes ago.
- But I need go again.
- No you don't.
- But I gonna wet a bed!
- Me too!
- Go for it.
- <whining, grumping>

(Observation: the bed stays dry.)

3 comments:

PsychoToddler said...

Just back out of the room slowly while they're distracted with each other...

Sheyna Galyan said...

Sounds way too much like the conversations between Oldest and Youngest Sons (5 and 3). They also share a room and separating them isn't an option right now. No solution here... we leave and half an hour later they're jumping off the bunk beds onto the floor, giggling and playing and getting worked up enough that they can't fall asleep so they'll be cranky and whiny the next day for my pleasure...

grrr...

good luck, and if you find something that works, let us know!

Kiwi the Geek said...

For awhile, I had success with teaching them to play 'Giraffe' where the person who's quiet longest is the winner. But now I just have to sit there and tell them repeatedly to lie still be quiet. When I get frustrated and separate them, I put one in my room or on the couch until they fall asleep, then carry her back.