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Challenge: Bedtime Secrets

Dear child: you WILL go to sleep with one of these night-night spells

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Alright, kid.

I’ve had an exhausting day. I sat in 2 hours of round trip traffic today, the only thing I ate was stale cookies from the office vending machine, and I just got slapped with a late fee because I picked you up from daycare 10 minutes late.

There’s next to no groceries in the fridge, you and your siblings left the house looking like a war zone, and the carpet looks like it’s a playground for the chimpanzee exhibit at the zoo.

Oh, and let’s just add in the fact that I’ve been in work clothes all day, I reek of cubicle sweat, and have not touched an ounce of wine or beer in several days.

For the love of all that is holy and pure, will you please have mercy on this sinful world of soggy diapers, snotty noses, and whiny parents and just go. To. Sleep?

No? Why not? Why do you opt to torture me? I let you sleep in my bed as a means of bonding and getting you comfy for night-night only for you to pull my hair, poke me in the eye, pick my nose, and kick me in my rib cage. Basically, you do everything but sleep.

Why torture me by dropping the mother of all poop right after I bathed you, dried you up, powdered you up, and diapered you up oh so nicely? And then scream like a bullhorn about it, breaking my much needed and necessary sleep? And, ironically, you still choose not to fall back asleep?

Why get out of bed after only being in it for 20 minutes to tell me your hungry or thirsty or want to play? Did you not get all the food and playtime your little heart desired in the past 24 hours? Do you not see that mommy is officially in zombie status and cannot fully function without proper rest?

But fortunately, the book of parenting night-night spells never dies! And have I got a curse or two that will solve all of my woes of weariness and get you under the most powerful of sleep curses!

Let’s dust this bad boy off, learn a spell or two, and, for the love of God, get you snoring at least for the next 6-8 hours!

Less snacks and a huge dinner

Yes, I know you enjoy junk foods in school and daycare and perhaps I am guilty of giving you more snacks than necessary. They could give you more energy than you should have, which could be why bed time is such a bane for you. But let’s bring that to a near halt now. One of the fastest ways for adults to catch the “itis” is with a large, delicious meal. That same concept can apply to kids, like you! Putting a huge limit on processed snacks foods throughout the day and waiting to scarf down on a big dinner is a sure way to get those eyes droopy and little jaws yawning.

Break a sweat

I love how you want to join mommy for yoga and aerobics! And since you don’t want to sleep, now is a perfect time to break a sweat with me. Exercising expends energy and calories, which the body needs to replenish, including yours little one. That’s why it’s normal to feel very fatigued after a rather involved workout. So, absolutely; by all means, run a lap or two with mommy! Strike an elongated lotus pose. Run up and down the stairs for several minutes! You will fall prey to my bedtime spell in a matter of minutes! (Insert evil laugh!)

Take a night roll

Let’s go burn some rubber kiddo! The reason why you always conveniently pass out in my car is because the vibrations and motions of a car are similar to when you were still wreaking havoc in my womb. Drexel University Sleep Center Director Joanne Getsy told the reason all people (including sleep-deprived toddlers) are so accustomed to passing out in cars is because being sedentary actually causes the body to relax and destress. Doing this at night when the body naturally starts winding down is the perfect time for you to count sheep in auto pilot for the rest of the evening!

Help mommy with an evening chore or two

Assuming you’re old enough to put your barfed-up onesies in the dryer, let’s help mommy with a chore or two, mkay? I’ll pass you all your drenched but clean clothes a few pieces at a time and you put them in the dryer! Fun right?! Oh it doesn’t end there! How about we play a game of who can pick up the toys and clean your room the quickest? Winner gets an evening snack, warm bottle, or some other rewarding levitation for all your hard work before a night’s rest! In fact, doing household chores routinely can be argued as a form of exercise, baby doll. A perfect formula for burning your little energy right in time for bed!

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