It is a universal constant that all children attempt to delay the inevitable…bedtime. I remember doing it myself. There was the old classic, “I need a glass of water.” The lament, “but I have to pee!” is rarely refuted by parents, especially parents of toddlers. My go-to excuse was, “I had a bad dream.” Of course, I’d been in bed for all of ten minutes, which my mother or father always pointed out. They were to totally correct, but in my mind I wasn’t making up a total falsehood, just stretching the truth a bit. I hadn’t had a bad dream yet. As I lay in the dark I could sense the bad dream lurking, ready to attack like the Boogeyman, which I couldn’t quite decide was real or not. Still, if he was, should I take a chance on staying in the room? No. It was much safer with Mama and Papa and the lovely comfort of bright lights. Besides, what if they were doing something fun? I bet it would be even more fun with me!
As you can see, my memory of how the child mind works is quite lucid. Most days my kids use the classic excuses, although I think, “But, I’m hungry” tops their list. Which, in all honesty, I find ironic. Unlike me, they have no clue what hunger is. They eat all day long and there’s never been a want of food.
Another thing they do not lack for, excuses for bedtime. Every once in a while they voice excuses that make me think, “okay, now that’s a new one.”
Tonight provided no exception. I poke my head in the room. “That doesn’t sound like sleeping.”
Mr. Smarty-pants says, “But I have a hole in my foot.”
I flip on the light. One, there’s no blood gushing, and two no tears, so I ask, “Where?”
“There, a tack went right in.”
“THERE,” and he points adamantly.
“Oh, there.” I go fetch some antibiotic, squirt it on. “You’re good. Go to sleep.”
Then, Miss Diva, not to be outdone. “I have a hole in my toe.”
Picture Spock’s most dubious expression. I suspect my face looked quite similar. “Uh-huh.”
“No, really.” She pulls her foot out from under the cover. The toe which she smashed somehow ages back has decided to shed its toenail.
“Eww.” I shudder and say a few more “ewws”. “Okay, you’ll live, go to bed.”
The other night Miss Drama sliced her toe when she stepped IN a dog food can Marble had snagged from the garbage and proceeded to lick empty (how can you not see a dog food can?). She proceeded to wail as she gushed blood on the floor. She wailed not because it hurt, so much as the fact she was bleeding. She ceased the drama as soon as I cleaned her up and showed her it stopped bleeding.
Given the war wounds produced for tonight’s bedtime evasive manuevers, I’m surprised Miss Drama didn’t beg for a band-aid for her toe.