But I'M (sob) NOT (yawn) TIRED!

Here you go. Another expert parenting gem from my small bag of wisdom. I now attack bedtime with complete sarcasm.

Every night for the last two weeks it's "I'M NOT TIRED!" How familiar those words are. I can remember sitting at the top of the stairs in my house screaming the same thing to my parents. I was willful, I could stay awake for hours.

I've tried it all. There's no reasoning, there's no reminding them how hard it is for them to wake up for school, there's no promises of fun stuff tomorrow if they go to bed now because NOTHING WORKS.

Tonight when the I'm not tired crap started I said, "Fine. Just lay in bed. I'll come back at 3 in the morning and if you're still awake, we will get out of bed and go to a party."

Pirate: Really?

Me: Yes, really. But you have to be awake. That's the rule. Lay in the bed, don't get up, stare at the ceiling and at 3 if I come in here and your eyes are open, we are going.

Chubs: Can I go to the party too?

Me: Chubs, it won't be a party without you, of course you can go.

I left their room around 9.

Real Estate Dad asked what my plan was if they were by some stroke of insanity, awake at 3. I said, "I guess we'll go to Steak and Egg."

A few minutes later we heard little feet scurrying around. Real Estate Dad went upstairs because he heard Chubs talking. He came back down.

Real Estate Dad: She's up there waiting for the party. I don't know how she doesn't sleep. Ever. She's up all the time. She's the happiest child, all the time.

Me: She is you. You don't sleep because you're afraid you will miss things. She was born 3 weeks early and I was in labor start to end for like 45 minutes because she wanted OUT. She's totally your kid.

Almost 1 a.m. right now. Real Estate Dad texted me from upstairs.

"Finally asleep."

That was a close call. Two hours away from dragging a 2 year old out to some non-existent party. My parenting skills could really use a tune-up.

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