When it comes to bedtime, I’m the strict one in the family, the one who tries to enforce the kids’ bedtime.
The kids, of course, want to stay up all night, and come up with all sorts of creative ways to stall.
“But Dad, can’t I tell you about this new idea I had?”
“But I’m so thirsty! I just need one more drink.”
“You know, I was thinking. . .”
“Can I tell you a bedtime story?”
Most of these seem reasonable, when taken out of context. When viewed from the “it’s already an hour past your bedtime” viewpoint, however, all they are is frustrating.
Last night, my oldest came up with a new one. He walked out of his bedroom with a wide grin on his face.
“What are you doing?” I said. “It’s bedtime!”
He smiled even wider and held out his hand.
Gathering my breath for a truly prodigious roar, I moved closer.
Then I saw what he held in his hand: a tooth. I looked again at his smile, and the little bloody hole where his tooth used to be.
“You pulled your own tooth out?” I said.
“I was just kind of wiggling it, and it came out.”
“Okay,” I sighed. “To the bathroom. You’ve got to rinse and spit, really cold water.”
“But it’s bedtime,” he said slyly.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go on.”