The subject will exhibit what we shall call “The Fake Cry” as his mother attempts to coax him to sleep by threatening a time-out in the corner.

Everyone’s child is obnoxious.  Or can be.  Or does something obnoxious.  Sometimes.  I think mine can top them all.  Because I’m pretty sure that when I see Facebook posts like this, I know that none of those other kids really are obnoxious, they are just kids.

This is a post from (what I can only assume is a) wonderful mom, let us call her Kristen because there were lots of Kristens when I was a kid, so chances are, you have a Kristen who may have posted this very thing at one time or another, too.  Her son is two, we’ll call him Jimmy.  She is pregnant, probably exhausted and just moved into a new house.  It went something like this:

Kristen:  Help, parents!  Jimmy has been giving us a terrible time getting to bed each night.  We tuck him in, and a few minutes later, he is up asking for another hug and kiss.  And then he does it over and over, sometimes until 9:00!  So frustrating!

That isn’t the part that really kills me, though.  It is the comments that make me want to poke myself in the eye with a number two pencil.  They all say to cut out his nap, or gently try to explain what bedtime is, or to maybe close his door and let him have a good ten minute cry.  Why does this irritate me?  Because I WISH IT WERE THAT EASY.

Now, I don’t mean to diminish Kristen’s dilemma;  I’m sure that this is driving her nuts, and she’s only soliciting this advice so she can nip this in the bud.  And she’s going to have another baby; I don’t envy her one bit.  Okay, maybe just a little bit, because I would love to have a toddler that went to sleep at nine at the latest.  This is what a typical night looks like at my house:

7:00-8:00pm – Bath, brush the teeth, jammies, story time, tuck him in, kisses, hugs.  Walk out of the room.

8:02pm – Finn is out of bed.  “Mom, I have to go poop.”

8:03-8:15pm – Finn sits on the potty singing “Tuppance a Bag” without actually pooping.  We tuck him back in and leave the room.  Oh, and if I don’t let him try to poop, he shits his pants every time.  Without fail.  We’ve had knockdown, drag out scream-fests over this many times, him and me.

8:19pm – Out of bed again.  Why?  “I don’t know.”  Put him back to bed, this time with a warning that Mom and/or Dad will be mad if he gets up again.  He starts to sing the Spiderman theme song as we leave.

8:35 – Out of bed yet again.  He creeps over to wherever we are and thinks we can’t hear him.  As soon as his cover is blown, he bolts for his room and pulls the covers over his head.  We give him a stern talking to.  This is where I try Jedi-Mind-Trick-ing him into going to sleep; “You will stay in this bed until morning.”  He is warned that next time, he’ll get a spanking.

8:56pm – He has gone all Super Secret Squirrel on us and has magically floated to the bottom of the steps.  We have no idea how long he has been there; the only way we know he is up is because he let his cover slip and taken in a ragged breath.  The second he hears one of us make a move for him, he abandons all his ninja skills and makes a mad dash to his bed.  Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump past his sister’s room, waking her up.  DAMNIT.  He gets a spanking (which will make him wail in pain if it is a light tap from Dad, and he laughs at me if I give him a good ol swat.)  He swears he will be a good boy and go to sleep now.

10:18pm – “Nathan, want to watch an episode of Game of Thrones in bed?”  He agrees, and we pack it up, take out the dogs, and get ready to turn in for the night.  We head up the stairs and there he is, all Children of the Corn, just standing there, silent and motionless.  (This totally terrifies me, BTW.  I actually brace myself for it every time I go up the steps in the dark, and get ready not to scream.)

5:47am, the next day:  “Mom… Wake up!  I want strawberries and blueberries and yogurt for bredfess.”

I’m not sure exactly what time he goes to sleep, but it is late.  And sometimes it gets really ugly, with kicking, biting and scratching, screaming and flopping around like a fish.  Him, not us.  And we have been doing this same kind of routine for THREE YEARS NOW.  He has always been a pain getting to sleep.  I can’t help but losing it on a semi-regular basis.  You would, too.  I promise.

Please tell me that someone else has a kid who is this obnoxious.  I’m not sure if I’m a crazy woman because of him, or if he is a whack job because of me, or somewhere in between.  It is a wonder I wanted to have another one.  For the record, Alice sleeps like a dream.  You know that old saying about God only giving you as much as you can handle?  I guess Finn was my limit.  And people wonder why I do weird things like eat raw Bisquick.  Just as a distraction, I ‘spose.

Botchulism.  I wonder how long I would be out of commission for?  Twelve, maybe twenty-four hours in the hospital…  Think of all that uninterrupted sleep…