Guest Post: The Struggle to Get the Kids to Bed. Every. Single. Night.

Photo courtesy of Girius via Flickr (CC)

In today’s Family Jewels guest blog post, Zeeshan Hamid of Why My Hair Don’t Grow No More recounts the endless trials and tribulations of getting his three kids to fall asleep.

This is a typical weeknight at the Hamid household:

6:55pm:
“Who is ready for a story?”
“Me … me … me.”
“Are you still hungry?”
“No, we’re full.”
“Are you thirsty?”
“No.”
“Do you have headache?”
“No.”
“Okay, go change into pajamas.”

7:00pm:
“I see only one kid in pajamas.  So you two are not getting a story tonight.”
“No, we are changing.”

7:05 pm:
“Did you brush your teeth?”
“Oh, we forgot.”

7:10 pm:
“Ayaan, did you brush your teeth?”
“Yes.”
“Come here and let me smell your mouth.”

No toothpaste smell.  Here we have the talk about lying.  Every. Single.  Night.  Something tells me he will have a prosperous career in politics.

7:15pm:
“Before I tell you a story, let me confirm: are you  hungry or thirsty? Do you have a headache or stomach ache?  Is there anything that will prevent you from listening to the story and going to bed?”
“No.”
“Do you have to go to the bathroom?”
“No.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.”

7:30pm:
“Alright everyone, goodnight. Go to bed.”

2 minutes later:
“Can I get some water? I am so thirsty.”

3 minutes later:
“I think I didn’t eat enough. I really need to eat, I am so hungry.”
“When the brain is tired it gets confused. Go to sleep.”

2 minutes later:
“My head  hurts.”
“It hurts because it’s telling you to sleep. Go to bed.”

2 minutes later:
“I had a bad dream.”
“You haven’t even slept yet. You did not have a bad dream. Go to bed.”
“I can’t sleep in my room because the bad dream is in my head. I have to sleep in your room.”
“No.”
“But I don’t like my bed. I like your bed.”
“No.”

2 minutes later:
“I miss mama so much. I want to call her.”
“She’s in her class. You can’t call her.”
“Is she gonna be back?”
“Yes.”

A couple of minutes later:
“I have to pee.”

Finally:
“Can you tuck me in again?”

Now go back to the “I am so thirsty part” and repeat. This happens about three of four times, sprinkled with a lot of “but I really need to tell you something.” Every calamity that can strike a human child strikes that poor child every night between 7:30 and 8:30pm.

And a little part of me dies every night dealing with it.

Zeeshan Hamid is a married father of three, community activist, Milton council candidate for ward 8 and author of Why My Hair Dont Grow No More.

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