When I as young I distinctly remember feeling a great sense of injustice that sometimes I had to go to bed when I was not tired. But as a parent I now understand: no one cares if you are tired or not – your parents need a break, so you are going to bed. You don’t have to go to sleep, but you do have to stay in your room and we aren’t going to entertain you any more tonight. This is our feeling about Everett’s bedtime, which has evolved quite a bit over the last year. First, he has learned to procrastinate, and comes up with many creative ways to do so.

“Can I have the iPad?”

“Can I have another story?”

“You forgot to give me some honey.” We give him honey when he has a cough, but he asks for it a lot of the time now.

“You forgot to give me water.”

“You forgot to put the gate up”

“You guys are always forgetting things!”

“I need the hall light on.”

“I need a nightlight”

“I need one more thing” or “Daaaaaaaaaaaaad. I neeeeeeeeed something.” This usually happens after Melissa puts him to bed. I think his reasoning is that once one parent has finished putting him to bed it’s time to repeat the process with the other parent. In an effort to emphasize the finality of bedtime I will resist going to see what he wants. The times that I do go upstairs and ask what he needs he will quickly ask for some random object that is within sight, quickly followed by “Do you want to snuggle with me?” He asks this as if it just occurred to him what a fortuitous series of events have led up to this moment.

Earlier this year we decided to get a new bed for the master bedroom which set off a series furniture moves. We moved the queen bed into the guest room and the full bed from the guest room to Everett’s room. Melissa wasn’t crazy about this idea but was willing to try it for a while, and now acknowledges how nice it is to have a bed that can accommodate the whole family for roughhousing and storytime. Over the summer Everett started sleeping on the bed instead of his crib. When we were in Friday Harbor Everett slept in his own room on a twin mattress that we put on the floor to minimize the impact of rolling out of bed. And after a couple weeks of this he realized that he no longer needed to call us to get him out of bed. So when we returned from Friday Harbor we took apart his crib and put it away and we stopped putting the gate on his door.

The sum of all of these events translates to a big increase in the amount of freedom Everett has after bedtime. It also means that our live-in alarm clock has changed from “Momma, Dada! I’m awaaaaaaaake!” to a stomping sound that starts faintly but gets progressively louder and comes to an abrupt stop next to our bed.

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