Reasons My Children Don’t Go to Bed


I’ve mentioned it once or twice before, but my kids never go to sleep. We try and fail to put them to bed over and over and over (and over!) again every single night. They rarely go to sleep before someone is in tears, and that could be any one of the four of us. Often we are in bed before they are completely settled (and we don’t go to bed early). Here’s an abbreviated list of the myriad of reasons that they appear back in the living room after bedtime:

  • To demand (another) hug and kiss
  • To ask if they can go potty 
  • To fill up their water cups 
  • To show us something that they built 
  • To show us a new outfit combination 
  • To tell us about a giant mess they made 
  • To freeze us with magic 
  • To unfreeze us with magic 
  • To demonstrate their ninja skills 
  • To discuss an owie from three days ago 
  • To request a bandaid for an invisible owie 
  • To complain about the other one doing something 
  • To look out the window 
  • To complain about the fan being on 
  • To complain about the fan being off 
  • To “get something” 
  • To remind us about a cool thing that happened two years ago 
  • To let us know an important thing that happened at school that day (for example: there was a ladybug) 
  • To give us a “present” (usually a toy or a rock wrapped in a blanket) 
  • To request that their blankets be “made flat” again 
  • To discuss the number of planets 
  • To ask when there will be another comet 
  • To tell us that their rug is a swimming pool and it is time for swimming 
  • To request medicine for their legs that hurt 
  • To see what we are watching
  • To see what we are eating 
  • To see what we are looking at on our phones 
  • To know what we are talking about
  • To check on the cats 
  • To ask what we will be doing tomorrow 
  • To show us their tummies
  • To ask a complicated question about a specific dinosaur that we’ve never heard of 

I could go on. Some nights we find it cute; other nights we want to tear our hair out. Is this normal? Do all kids do this? And if so, do they ever stop?