A Bedtime Story

Bedtime Storybooks

Bedtime for my two-year-old is becoming increasingly difficult these days.

We got lucky for a while, because we could read him a book, snuggle a bit, say nighty-night and down he’d go. Of our three children, my youngest has always been the easiest to put to bed.

Yet lately, NOT so much.
Especially when my husband is not home to say goodnight.

I’ve tried to play the whole bedtime routine off nonchalantly, saying things like, “It’s ‘book time!” or “Let’s go put on your favorite pajamas!” But… he’s too smart these days to be duped by words.

He knows. Without a doubt he knows that nap time or nighttime is on the horizon.

His old race-up-the-stairs-to-pick-out-a-book-or-two routine has all too quickly been replaced by a sudden race to anywhere that I. Am. Not.

And then (of course) this sudden fleeing reflex of his is typically followed by:

  • Me scooping him up,
  • To take him kicking and screaming upstairs to his bedroom,
  • And ultimately leave him crying.

Eventually (what feels like hours later, but in reality is probably only 5 minutes) the crying fades… and he drifts off to sleep.

Bedtime Prayers of Patience

What happened? Why can’t things go back to books and snuggles and nighty-nights? Ohhhhh, how I loooong to go back to those days.

Occasionally my husband and I have found that we can manage to avoid the “bedtime flee and fight” if we are both home. This is strategically done by allowing our youngest to “choose” which of his parents will put him to bed (the independence of a choice always seems to extinguish a temper tantrum).

But the other night, well…
The other night was not a night when my husband was home.

And I knew what awaited me…

  • An intense journey up the stairs
  • An unusually long and loud struggle maneuvering “pajama gear” on his little body
  • A quick book (that we never managed to finish due to how distraught he was)
  • A snuggle-less crib drop off, complete with a “blown kiss” good night (warranted by momma’s fear of temper-tantrum-induced-flailing limbs)

Except, you can only imagine my surprise when…
I closed the door to his room and almost immediately the crying stopped.

Maybe this stage was coming to an end? Maybe he was moving beyond all this nonsense? Maybe I would eventually even be able to get some snuggles and a real (not blown!) smooch from him before bed again?

Relief crept up in me as I walked down, relishing in the silence of the evening.

The Mystery of the Faint Ring…

Naturally, the first thing I want to do in my excitement over my increase bedtime success is text my husband to share the good news!

I reach in my pocket to pull out my iPhone but find it’s not there.
I call to my older two children to ask if they’ve seen momma’s phone – no?
I check all the usual missing-phone places (I tend to “misplace” my iPhone more than I care to admit)

And then it hits me…

Did I leave it in my youngest son’s room?

Oh. My. Gosh.
Really? Really!?
My 2-year-old finally goes to bed without major tears and NOW I have to go back in there?

But a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do, so back up the stairs I go.
My strategy: In and out, as quick as possible.

Except, no iPhone is to be found.

All that, and it wasn’t even in there! I quickly (without eye contact) say another “Good night – Momma loves you” to my 2-year-old and hold my breath as I walk out of the room with expectations of intense crying.

Yet again, no cries!?
And still no phone.
Where could it be?

With hopes that the phone is not turned on vibrate, I revert to the good ol’ tried and true phone-finding technique of calling myself from our land-line. And within moments I hear the slightly muted sound of its ring.

Brrrrriiinggg, Brrrriiinggg…
Somewhere downstairs.

I walk into my home office and in horror realize the the ring is coming from…

The baby monitor.

Below is a photo “recreation” of how I envision my son playing out the sneaky fact that he “pick-pocketed” my iPhone.

Initial Cell-phone-finding Expression

Cell-phone-finding photo 2

Cell-phone-finding Photo 3 - Joy

No wonder he was so silent after I left the room.*

*The next evening went back to the same-old-same-old kicking, screaming, crying bedtime routine and in the back of my head a tiny voice ever-so-briefly tossed around the crazy idea of buying a “bedtime” iPhone for my 2-year-old (not really, but… )

Leave a Comment: What is your children’s bedtime routine like? How do you deal with kids who don’t want to go to sleep? Has anyone ever used the find-your-phone feature that comes with the iPhone? Does it work?!

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23 Responses to A Bedtime Story

  1. julie
    Twitter: fromthecompound

    That is so funny! Great post Kate, and what a cutie. Good luck with the bedtime madness!

    • Kate F. says:

      What a stinker! Can you believe he took my iPhone? I’m gonna have to watch out for this last little sneaky guy of ours! 🙂

  2. Christine @ Quasi Agitato
    Twitter: csiracusa

    That little stinker!!
    Man, it is such a bummer when the “things you can count on,” like an easy bedtime, get switched up. Strength, patience, and wine to you my dear. I hope his resistance loses steam soon.
    Christine @ Quasi Agitato recently posted..Senior Hottie: Then and Now with Bonus Track ~ The Lost Years.

    • Kate F. says:

      I know Christine, I really hope he loses his resistance soon! I will say that I seem to have way more patience the third time around in dealing with the temper tantrums – but it is still difficult to listen to him cry. Especially since I know I am counting down the days to no more baby snuggles 🙁 sniff, sniff. All I want him to do is snuggle his little head in between my neck and shoulder and quietly drift off to sleep, is that asking too much???

  3. Pamela says:

    Hilarious about the Iphone! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with you about the rest. Don’t even get me started on bedtime woes; your comment section wouldn’t be long enough! I just spent an hour and a half laying with my daughter until she fell asleep, only for her to pop up when I opened the door and left the room, crying “Where’s Mama?” (she has to have the door closed when she goes to sleep.) Also, my husband fell asleep while I was putting her to bed, and so now I’m up, hoping to hang with him for a bit and he’s snoozing. Sigh. Maybe I should just go to bed.

    Good luck with the nighttime routines and know you aren’t alone…this will end eventually, right? Or so I’m told…
    Pamela recently posted..Expect to Not Know “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”

    • Kate F. says:

      It will end. It will end. It will end… eventually. (I keep telling myself this over and over.) Until it ends my only hope is that both my husband and I are home (to open up “choice”) or that he swipes my iPhone again 🙂

      Your situation sounds just as crazy! Ugh. Hopefully the summer air and fun will start to wear those kids out more!

  4. One of the best pieces of parenting advice that I ever got was “just when you think you’ve got a good routine going, everything changes.” This has proven to be true in my life with my kiddo over and over again.

    • Kate F. says:

      Yep! That IS good advice. Change is so incredibly annoying (yet at the same time so incredibly necessary!)

  5. You know, my boys went through this same thing when they were 2. And once in their bed, they would play and giggle and scream for hours (literally hours). My hubby worked in the evenings. The thing is…so did I (I’m an at home writer mama). It was a nightmare. So, I banned nap time. Just tossed it out the window. Now they are OUT at 8 pm. Ah.

    • Kate F. says:

      I know… the problem is I work out of my home too – during nap time 🙂 Ha! But that is not a bad suggestion. Maybe I could cut naps down to every other day or just the days I work from home in the afternoons. Thanks Susie!

      P.S. Good to hear from you. Hope your writing is going well?

  6. Lisa says:

    That is so funny! Of course not so funny the next night- but guaranteed to be a story you’ll be telling for years to come. And so true what “mommy psychologist” said – just when you think things are going so well….it all changes. On the positive side that means the insane-making, hard stuff ends too….eventually.
    Loved the story – and the love the pictures of what you imagined was going on in that crib….funny!!!

    • Kate F. says:

      That is exactly why I decided to capture this crazy iPhone/bedtime story on my blog Lisa! I knew that I would want to remember it in the years to come 🙂

  7. That’s pretty funny, except the bigger issue not so much. That’s hard – my youngest resists bedtime too. And my patience can only go so far, as I’m sure you know. I hope it gets better sooner rather than later!
    Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..UGH. Teacher Gift Time

    • Kate F. says:

      I am really hoping with the summer months (allowing my husband being home more evenings) that we can just go with the flow and get through it… but I DO miss the snuggles 🙁

  8. Tatum says:

    I feel your pain about bedtime 🙁

    Another blog I love (Momastery) describes bedtime as a game of Whack-A-Mole. Couldn’t agree more!

    P.S. LOVED the pictures 🙂

    • Kate F. says:

      Glennon’s Whack-A-Mole post on Momastery was hilarious! I remember reading that and I was in tears crying so hard because it was all just so darn true!

  9. Susi says:

    Oh boy, you got your hands full there. I always had the most trouble with my youngest. Bedtime is getting a lot easier and usually after a story and our 4 bedtime songs she’s fine. But naptime is a daily struggle. Good luck to you. This too shall pass!!!!
    Susi recently posted..And the winner is…

    • Kate F. says:

      My only concern is that “this too shall pass” and by then all the snuggling will be over 🙁 Ugh. Time… sometimes it is my biggest ally, and others my worst enemy…

  10. angela says:

    We are having monstrous sleep issues here. I am a wimp when it comes to the whole idea of sleep training, but something needs to be done.

    Bedtime used to be one of my favorite times of day. Not because they were going to sleep, but because we had such a gentle routine of baths and books and songs and water and snuggles and goodnights. With this new battle over bed, I dread the evening, and that makes me sad.

    Little did I know the answer was his personal iPhone 😉
    angela recently posted..Happy Memorial Day

    • Kate F. says:

      Glad to have filled you in Angela on the advantages of a personal iPhone for your toddler 🙂 You seem like you are in the same stage as I… you’ll have to let me know if you find anything that works. I am not a fan of sleep training either. I tend to veer the direction of “give a little love, and eventually they’ll come around.” (I know… pie in the sky idea :))

  11. Kim says:

    I can’t stop laughing, Kate! I’ve heard of parents leaving the TV on in kid’s rooms to get them to go to sleep, but the iPhone is a new trick 🙂 I love how you discovered its whereabouts from the baby monitor!

    Nighttime has always been a struggle in our home, too. Well, it has its peaks and plenty of low points. I explained to my almost five-year old the other day how some day in the distant future we will tell her good night and she will go upstairs, bathe, brush, and put herself to bed. She thought we were joking. Our kids are very needy at bedtime.

    I hope it gets easier for you two soon!
    Kim recently posted..A Little Girl’s Daddy

    • Kate F. says:

      I had to laugh when you mentioned the “distant future” to your daughter who then looked at you in disbelief! My oldest daughter does this now – and it is such a relief to be able to send someone off to bed easily, with a hug and a kiss and a “love you.”

      P.S. So GOOD to hear from you Kim.

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