Bedtime Troubles

Every night, it’s the same thing. The kids brush their teeth, put on their pyjamas, get a story read to them, are given hugs and kisses and a dream, the lights are turned out, and all hell breaks loose.


I don’t know what it is or why it happens, but for the last three or four months, I can’t get Elizabeth to go right to sleep to save my sanity. Or what’s left of it.

Joseph, the sweet, wonderful boy, lays his head on his pillow, whispers goodnight and promptly drifts off into dreams of zombies, plants, and, now, apparently badly pixelated pigs. I rarely hear a peep from him from the time I turn off the light until the moment he gets up in the morning.

Elizabeth, on the other hand, needs, in no particular order: a glass of water, a doll, another glass of water, the other doll, to go potty, monster spray, her brother’s ears, more kisses, food, to know where her bracelet she made three days ago went, how many pieces of candy she can have for dessert after dinner tomorrow, and more water.

I get up and sit down, get up and sit down. I get her water, calm her fears, and then, at my wit’s end tell her to go to sleep or else she won’t be able to crawl into bed with me in the wee hours of the morning.

I’ve been told she needs to give up her nap—those blissful two hours in the middle of the day. I’ve tried that only to discover my sweet little girl who usually spends her evenings dancing and singing becomes a crazy teenager, at turns crying and moping.

So, the naps have to stay.

And I’ve heard duct tape is frowned upon.

Any ideas or tips to help me get her to stay in bed and go to sleep?