Bedtime Stall Tactics of a 2 Year Old

lovey-jammiesI am beginning to learn that children can be quite crafty.  Beginning to learn is maybe not the right statement…I have been watching this craftiness slowly emerge over the last 24 months so it really isn’t that much of a surprise.  But you can just see the wheels turning in their little heads sometimes. Lovey is fast approaching her 2nd birthday and it amazes me just how resourceful she can be…just how tricky.  Now, it has taken me a little while to catch on to her tactics but I have noticed that right around bedtime she cycles through them like clockwork…on the off chance I will fall for one of them.  Is it possible she is consciously TRYING to manipulate me???

7:30 p.m. I announce “bedtime in 30 minutes.” I walk up to the clock on the wall and say “when this big hand gets on the 12, it’s time for bed.”  (Even though I know she has no idea yet how to tell time…)

7:45 p.m. “Bedtime in 15 minutes.  Do you want me to read you a story?”  “No”

7:55 p.m. “Bedtime in 5 minutes.”  I hold up 5 fingers.  Lovey glances up at the clock for a brief moment.  “Do you need a drink?”  “No”

8:00 p.m. “Bedtime”  Lights out…

sleeping-loveySTALL TACTIC #1) “Dinner?” She runs out to the kitchen and begins to push her highchair out from the counter.  (I will admit that I fell for this one a couple of times.  I mean…I couldn’t send my little one off to bed with a hungry tummy!!  But after a couple of nights of squishing applesauce and spitting out half-masticated cheese I just KNEW she was up to something and filling a hungry tummy wasn’t it… Now the response is “we already ate dinner…it’s time for bed.” 8:15 p.m. Little Lovey has run out of ideas…I guess it really is time for bed.

STALL TACTIC #2) “Change Di-per?” After wrestling and fighting to get every diaper changed all day long, NOW she is suddenly offering a change?  Something is definitely up here……”Your dydie is clean…it’s time for bed.”

STALL TACTIC #3) “Bath?” What child wants a second bath within two hours? “We just took a bath, love…it’s time for bed.”

STALL TACTIC #4) “Read Book?“ ”Sweetie, I asked you if you wanted to read a book and you said no.  It’s time for bed.”

STALL TACTIC #5) “Play Toys?” “We’ll play with toys tomorrow…it’s time for bed.”

STALL TACTIC #6) “Juice, Juice?” “I’ll get you a drink, but it’s time for bed.”

8:20 p.m. Sound asleep

I am sure it will be no time before she comes up with some new stall tactics. If you have experienced any that are surely coming my way, please help this tired mom out with a little advanced notice of what I can expect…perhaps I can cut Lovey off at the pass and save us both a little grief…

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6 Responses to “Bedtime Stall Tactics of a 2 Year Old”

  1. Jen E @ mommablogsalot January 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    lmao my two year old son does the same kind of thing to me – though not nearly as many attempts – it’s more, “Now I want to read THIS book…” over and over and over as many times as he can get away with! And he’s definitely tried the, “I want dinner,” thing several times!

  2. Kalisha January 14, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    HA! Yep…they are very clever. I remember my daughter would point out everything she saw on the way to bed. Look, Light! anything to keep the conversation going! Even my 21 mo old has wised up to the art of stalling. When I tell her it’s bed time she refuses saying, “No! Snuggle Bed!” (Snuggle Bed is a nightly ritual where we “snuggle” to read stories and have quiet time before bedtime.)

    My husband always gives in (of course) saying, “Don’t worry I’ll put them to bed.” Riiight…In the end I’m the one putting them to bed and in doing so falling asleep right along with them!So, I guess the bedtime wars will continue on, but they usually can’t fight it forever!

  3. Stephanie January 15, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Two-year-olds really are quite savvy.

    Our daughter is 2 and her bedtime routine looks something like this -

    7:00 p.m. Bath
    7:20 p.m. Pajamas, Brush Hair, Brush Teeth
    7:30 p.m. Read 2 books and go potty
    7:45-8:00 p.m. Asleep (I lie down with her until she’s asleep…)

    We cut out our daughter’s nap about two months ago and that has been a huge help. By 7:45, she’s usually ready to hit the sack without coaxing.

  4. Melissa January 16, 2009 at 9:00 am #

    Thank you so much for your comments! It is a relief to know I am not the only one out there going through this. We are actually getting Lovey a “big girl” bed since we will need the crib for #2. I hope that her new found sense of independence (ability to crawl up into bed on her own) will help with her stalling…although I understand this means she also has the freedom to get out of bed when she wants to-another challenge?

  5. casual friday everyday January 16, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    Sounds like my 4 year old actually. Cute post.


  6. Jeff September 17, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    My two year old will talk for over an hour and a half. When you go in the room, she claims she needs to go potty but doesn’t. She just talks until we get angry. What are we doing wrong?