Sunday, August 15, 2004

Bedtime Wars

Kids are so cute. Sometimes.

Mine is 3 1/2 by the way, and we are in the middle of bedtime wars lately.

So typical - eyes half closed, grouchy, and "I'm not tired." Yes you are. "No I'm not." It's bedtime honey. "Waaahhhh"

30 minutes later, after he was already supposed to be in bed:

"I'm thirsty."
glass of water.

5 minutes later:
"I'm scared -there are monsters in here"
monster check performed (I kick "monster-butt" and no more monsters).
"Elmo is a good monster, but bad monsters are bad."
Go to sleep.
"We don't like bad monsters. Cuz they're bad."
Go to sleep!

5 minutes later
"I'm hungry."
You should have eaten your dinner.
"but I'm really hungry."
You ate 2 hot-dogs for lunch, had chips and candy at Grandma's, had a fudgesicle in the bath, and ate half your dinner and said you were full and refused to eat anymore.
"Yeah, and I'm hungry NOW."
Go to sleep.
"But I'm starving."
You can eat in the morning.
"But I'm so hungry, my tummy is rumbling."
Go to sleep. Now.
"but I'm really hungry."
Fine, do you want the rest of your dinner?
"I want.... ice cream!"
Leftovers or nothing.

"I'm not hungry."
Fine. Go to sleep.
"Can I still have ice cream?"
Don't make me come in there.

5 minutes later
"I love you."
I love you too, now go to sleep.

5 minutes later he runs into the living room.
Why are you out of bed?
"I forgot to brush my teeth!"
No you didn't - we used your Thomas the Tank Engine brush instead of Paddington Bear, remember?
"oh. Can I stay up?"
One... Two...
He is back in bed.

5 minutes later a flashlight shines mysteriously from the hallway into my eyes.
Why are you up?
"I wanted to check the batteries on my flashlight."
I'm coming in there.
Patter of little feet running to bed.

5 minutes later he's up.
what are you doing!?
"I have to go potty."
Hurry up then.

And on and on and on and on.

Any advice?


vrangel said...

I have 3 1/2 boy too. Same thing here as you say.
How in the world can they do it in exactly the same way I wonder.
Little conspirators... :)

ALa said...

I knew he looked the same age as Mason (3 1/2). My advise is very UN-PC (surprise surprise)...all of our night (and nap) time battles ended when we got a TV/VCR combo for their room. We put on a movie and they are happy and usually end up falling asleep within 15 minutes. I am not a TV-Nazi as I was not allowed to watch ANY TV (justrose will verify) when I was little and am now a TV-aholic -the whole 'forbidden fruit' thing. My boys have had the TV in their room forever -they would still rather play outside or read a book, but all bed-time battles are gone...JustRose has yet to head this advise (haha). I know that there are many people that are dead against this, but I figures that sleep is SO important at this age --anything that facilitates it can't be that bad. Good Luck!

91ghost said...

I have no advice what-so-ever. In fact, I was going to solicit some advice from you. I am a shell-shocked veteran of the bedtime wars.

Lohengrin said...

Patience is about your only tool here. My little girl is alomst four, so we went through all that. It still happens, though less and less frequently. The main thing is to turn them right around and back into bed, even as they are telling you which reason they are up this time. It will pass.
Getting a TV is a horrible idea, no offense. But we try to watch as little TV as possible and read books.

ALa said...

lohengrin -no offence taken...most people shun the idea (but as I said -I was forbidden TV and now I am a TV kids have it and they are pretty ambivalent about it -I suggest not creating any forbidden fruit). As I was saying, most shun the idea and that's cool --they fight with their kids to get back upstairs while mine are sleeping soundly....

justrose said...

We just sit there with Precious in a rocking chair until she falls asleep. Sometimes I lie down with her. It takes forever but gradually they gain confidence and go down by themselves.

Also, a nice long tubbie time does wonders. Do the same routine every night. We use that infant lavender bath stuff as bubble bath, supposed to be calming, who knows?

riceburner147 said...

Ask a woman with al least 5 (if not six) children. With all due respect to those with 1 or 2, they dont yet know. I asked (or watched my sister) who had 5 and did something even more un-pc than Ala71, I (We) LET THEM CRY. Then, they fell asleep and after a short while they slept (even till now, 16 & 19) all night. Also, I used to say, (upon my mentors advice) "You dont have to sleep, you just have to lie there with your eyes closed". This is very hard to do, and may not be everyones cup of tea.

~Jen~ said...

I need to start writing all this stuff down for when Scott and I have little ones. Nobody tells you THIS part.


artbyruth said...

My son did this too. He is 9 now and still gets up every once in awhile (bad dreams, etc.)

NO TV!!! I am firmly against this. We only have one TV in the family room and that is it. I was raised by the television set and saw way too much junk. My mom had 4 kids and we each had TV's in our rooms. It helped her, but not us. Now we strictly limit TV watching and my son is alive and well.

Anyways, we used to just keep putting him back in bed. Had to spank him once or twice in his 3rd year of life. But he generally fell asleep by his bedroom door (out of frustration) or in his bed. Usually we put soft music on or movie soundtracks (Jurassic Park and Star Wars were his favorites...even now, although LOTR is number one.) and that worked beautifully. He even likes listening to the Bible on CD's. You can borrow all these at the library.

Watch the sugar intake close to bed time too. I noticed that the amount of sugar he had before bedtime affected his sleep.

Hope this helps!

ALa said...

Spank them if you must --but no TV....
Sorry, that just struck me as strange...

Tom said...


I just read your bio for the first time. I did basic at Jackson. I was originally slated for Fort Lost in the Woods, MO. Thank God they switched me at the last minute. That was one friggin' hot summer, though.

artbyruth said...


Why? Are you against spanking?

Kat said...

Actually, spankings and TV work good. But, what do I know, I'm only an aunt. After the first couple times that resulted in spanking (mild), I know longer counted or threatened. I just got up and started walking towards the room and everybody got quiet.

Now..I know I sound like mean aunt Kathy but believe me, they all want to come over and visit still.

TV in the room works well as long as it is only one child. AFter child #2, they are way into arguing about what movie to watch and who was messing with the buttons, etc.

Better hope you are in good enough financial shape to afford separate bedrooms and TVs by that time. LOL

ALa said...

artbyruth_ To be perfectly honest...I don't know. I know that sounds weird since my kids are almost 6 and almost 4 --but I still don't know what I think about spanking. When I was young I used to get BEAT -with a belt -often (once the welts were so bad I had to wear jeans in July and convince everyone I was chilly). Thankfully my children are pretty good so it hasn't been a huge issue, but I usually just send them to their room and that works for now. When I think about spanking I remember the humiliation that I felt (though I have met some kids that could use a few slaps upside the head) and I can't really see doing that (I also realize that you are talking about spanking and not beating –but the two are hard to separate in my mind)...Don't get me wrong -I am NOT judging ..I am a strong believer in 'whatever works best for you parenting'...and if my boys start evolving into little monsters --I will seriously re-think my views. Most of my parenting techniques (TV, spanking, enforcing religion) are STRONGLY tied to things that I experienced in my youth -and trying to avoid repeating them...

redleg said...


off the topic (for I have no kids...yet) but when were you in the 101st and 2ID?

I was in 8-8 FAR at TDC and Uijongbu from 90-92, and with DIVARTY in 94-95. I commanded at Campbell 95-98.

Have we eaten the same dirt somewhere along the line?

And I am married to a JAG. Have you thought about coming back in as a JAG yourself?

All the best and good luck

this we'll defend said...

I was 5/20 IN (which became the 9th Infantry (Manchu)) 93-94. Casey & Hovey, aaahhh, memories. Stinky memories.

I was 101 (A 1/327 IN) 85-87. I was also at Lewis, Benning, Stewart, and Irwin in line assignments, and a drill sergeant at Jackson.

No JAG for me. 1) I'm too old. 2) I wouldn't want to do that. JAGs are great, but I would rather be a manuever commander if I still wore a uniform.

So still looking for a job......

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

What worked for me was to not let the kid sleep in, in the morning. When I got up at 0530 to s/s/s and check email and then get on the road to the base for my 0700 shift formation, if the little one was all about staying up late the night before, that was my cue that she was to get up at that same time. Tickles, tickles, and more tickles, and of course she would be angry, but then hugs, and picked her up and ran around the apartment a bit, and eventually she'd be awake and laughing. Up, and permanently up (she was about 6 at the time).

Any night after a morning like that, and she was dead to the world no later than 2100.

Another thing that helps is to only let the bedtime slip by about an hour on weekends. Kids need their sleep cycles to be in a tighter routine than we adults do.

artbyruth said...


That's how I feel about TV....I had so much TV junk in my youth that now I just get sick of it. We had all the cable channels for awhile, but then we got rid of them to save $$. I thought I would miss them (especially Fox News and decorating shows...) but now I don't even miss them.

So, my son will grow up not having been fed all the TV junk that is out there. We only watch a few sitcoms together as a family. We mostly watch DVDs on weekends.

So, my son has never had a TV in his room and he never will (until he moves out, of course....) Believe me, he isn't missing anything at all.

We have spanked our son maybe 9 times in his 9 years on earth. He is a great kid...really! People tell us this all the time!! A good harsh "look" in his direction usually works well. He went through the "terrible" two's just fine, but the three's were difficult. My hubby is the one who spanks him. He always, ALWAYS, follows a spanking with a hug and an "I love you".

I know what you mean about "the belt". My father used one on us kids too. Yeowch.

attillathehunnybun said...

You just threten to sick the dogs on the little bastards and it straightens 'em right up.

Wollybully said...

Threaten to make them watch reruns of the Democratic National Convention.

Jorgesyerdaddy said...

When my kids give me trouble about going to sleep I tell them if they don't shut-up I'll get some monster to suck out their brains, turn them into democrats and make them move to Florida. Works every time.

redleg said...

I guess we missed each other in assignments... not a bad life.. I wouldn't want to be a JAG either, but don't let my wife hear that....

ALa said...

artbyruth -yeah, I guess we all take from our own experiences, cross our fingers and hope we do better. It's the most we can do....Really as long as we all love our kids as much as we do-everything else is secondary.

Off Topic: Frater Bovious has a post that everyone should read today --warning --it is upsetting! (involving -of course- the ACLU)

this we'll defend said...

aLa71: of course the "report" on frater bovius's site isn't real. I don't know why he posted it unless he wanted to get a rumor started or make fun of people who believe everything they read.

No ACLU lawyer would defend a women who killed a newborn baby on the grounds of "abortion is legal." It sure demonizes those evil baby-killing ACLU lawyers who want to do horrible things like ensure civil liberties and protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights though. It also conveniently slandered Massachusetts at at time when a certain party is running a candidate from there.

The reference to corporations as persons didn't connect. The Supreme Court has held that some Constitutional rights apply to corporations (equal protection so that states can't treat some different than others), but not other rights (corporations don't have the 5th Amendment right to remain silent).

ALa said...

TWD: You have to admit that there is not much that can happen these days that would honestly shock people. When babies are born after an 'attempted abortion' they can be put in a KFC bucket-stuck in a broom closet and left to die (actually Obama Barrack voted in favor of this) --and really ...what's the difference?
(Before you challenge this I know it first hand--I know a nurse that quit her well-paying job after this happened)

this we'll defend said...

Well if you know a single place where this happened it must be the view of the ACLU, huh?


Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

I'm a limited pro-choicer myself (keep it safe and legal up until the fetus has independant and conscious brain function--then it's a separate individual).

What I see as sometimes disturbing is the tendancy for some pro-choicers to contradict themselves in the area of cloning, in demanding that cloned beings born without a brain be "treated as a human being with full rights". That's inconsistent, and illogical. If without a brain, a fetus is just extra tissue, then without a brain, a clone is just ...extra tissue.

ALa said...

CSMXF: I am lost & you will have to clarify this...Being VERY pro-life -there is NEVER a time when I think that a baby is 'extra tissue' and I don't know any pro-lifers that do. I am against cloning because it is an imperfect science (look at Dolly) -and I don't understand what this has to do with abortion anyway --
How would you make the determination of when 'life begins'? Have you seen the picture of the 20 week old fetus grabbing the doctor's finger during an in-utero operation...If the law stated that you had to do it BEFORE THREE MONTHS (I still wouldn't like it) but at least it would be better than what happens now. Most silly Americans think that it is illegal after 3 months and don't realize that you can 'get rid' of your baby within seconds of delivery of you so desire (you’ll just pay a lot more money). Once again -before you disagree TWD -my husband and I offered to adopt the baby of a stripper here. She was 7 1/2 months and thought about it, but decided to go through with the 'PROCEDURE'......

this we'll defend said...

Seconds before delivery, you just have to pay more money? Perhaps, if a state hasn't made such a terrible thing illegal.

The federal govt doesn't pass abortion laws, states do. The Supreme court has said that before viability a state may adopt a regulation protecting the mother's health and the life of the fetus if the regulation does not place an "undue burden" on or substantial obstacle to the woman's right to obtain an abortion. Post-viability the state's interest in the fetus's life can override the woman's right to choose unless the abortion is necessary to protect the woman's health or safety.

This means a state may ban ALL post-viability abortions unless the woman's health or safety is concerned - and not, that does not mean abortion providers can ignore the law and simply say "her health or safety was threatened." The state that passes the law can PROSECUTE violations of that law.

As for my humble opinion, pre-viability there is not a life lost (disagree with me but this is a matter of opinion - the debate were life begins has no right or wrong answer). A woman should have a right to choose to terminate a pregnancy - I don't see that as terminating a child any more than using birth control (remember, many see birth control the same as abortions - the Pope for instance).

Post-viability a baby is involved and the state should ban them. Note I said SHOULD, since it is up to the state to do so or not. If your stripper had an abortion at 7 1/2 months with no threat to her health or safety that was the poor choice of you and your fellow state citizens who didn't forbid it. The Supreme Court would have no problem were you to rectify that by passing such a law. Don't blame the ACLU. They would rush to your defense were you to lobby for such a law and a radically pro-choice government were to try and stifle your voice. That is what they do.

ALa said...

If your wife would have had a miscarriage at 4 or 5 months --sure as hell you would have considered it a loss of life....(that is where the hypocracy comes visibly into play...)

this we'll defend said...

She did. I didn't.

We were disappointed that we had to wait for a child, but we didn't feel we lost a child.

No hypocrisy.

ALa said...

Well, that is very foriegn to me...I am very sorry for your loss...I guess I don't understand why people say "She lost the baby...." if this is not the case...

Bigandmean said...

TWD, as sometimes seems to be the case you have most of the practical information but your conclusions suffer from erroneous application. I don't mean to sound pompous or as though I am departing precious information to you from on high but when you begin to practice law, you'll discover some realities that are not apparent to you now.

There are abortion lawyers just as there are abortion doctors. The lawyers involved in this unusual specialty quickly learn that there are some abortionists who will perform their specialty at any point of viability, from pre-zygote to live birth. Word gets out; if you want an abortion, even very late term, see Mr. "Abortion Lawyer". He'll guide you through the process and guarantee legality. He arranges for his client to see Dr. Eliminatedefetus, who has never seen a pregnancy that he didn't think endangered the health of the mother.

In one famous case, (in Boston, where else?) the baby managed to live through the attempted abortion and breathed on his own until the doctor administered the coup de grace by choking him.

To say that the federal government does not make the laws, the states do is incorrect. As you correctly stated, the US Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what does or does not pass constitutional muster. The states can pass all the laws they want but they have no meaning nor practical application unless approved by the court. If undeclared unconstitutional by one federal court, the statute may not be enforced. The final decision as to the legality of any state statute is therefore up to the judicial branch of the federal government.

I'm not taking a side one way or the other on the abortion issue. I have my opinion and won't try to influence anyone else. But as to the practicalities of the matter, the description above is how it works in real life.

ALa said...

B&M : This is why I love you --I get so emotional over some subjects (this being top on the list) that I can't think rationally. I want to stand at the clinics and offer to take each baby (though I am quite aware that this too is irrational). You always -calmly- hit the nail right on the head...I guess that's why you are a lawyer and I (when I finally go back to work) will be a little husband can not believe that so much money can be spent on eduaction to say "SHHHHHHH"....LOL

Peter V said...

My children are older (4, 8, 16); my advice would be in the grand scheme of things to enjoy it while it lasts.

They growup quickly. If I've learned anything with children it's picking the battle. When any of the kids went through what you are describing, we would read them a book to calm them down. They enjoyed being read to so if they continued to get out of bed they were told no story tomorrow. For us it proved remarkable successful.

Good luck and enjoy.

this we'll defend said...

B&M: just because there are lawyers out there who would twist the law out of meaning, or doctors out there that would unethically claim a harm to a woman's health where none exists, doesn't mean the law is flawed. If OJ gets away with murder does that mean the homicide statute is to blame? Or the protections of the 5th Amendment that allowed him not to take the stand? Or was it that Marsha Clark is a poor prosecutor, Judge Ito allowed attorneys to run his courtroom, and the jury was monumentally stupid? If a law exists that should have prevented the stripper's late-term abortion and she was able to flout it with the help of a lawyer then abortion laws aren't the problem, enforcement is.

You don't take away a woman's right to choose on the grounds that some people twist and subvert the law (such as by choking a newborn - although I think that is a myth and would like some references so that I can look that up). You take away a woman's right to choose if you don't believe she should have it to begin with. I think she should, you think she shouldn't, and that is the real debate, not anecdotal outlier cases from hell. If the reality in your state is that abortion restrictions after viability are ignored I highly doubt that is the fault of the Supreme Court of the United States, which has upheld such restrictions as constitutional.

You say: "The states can pass all the laws they want but they have no meaning nor practical application unless approved by the court." No, they have meaning and practical application unless declared unconstitutional by the Court, and you as a lawyer should be well aware of how reluctant the high Court is to declare a law unconstitutional. It happens, but only when a state has gone beyond the power the state was granted by the people. I don't have a problem with that. Do you?

You say: "The final decision as to the legality of any state statute is therefore up to the judicial branch of the federal government." It is possible that the Court would ignore legal precedent, history, and the Constitution and cast aside democracy in favor of some sort of judicial dictatorship, subverting the will of the people and the role of the states and state legislatures. That is often the battle cry - "unelected judges" and "judicial activists" and "the bogeyman will get you." You as a lawyer know very well how unlikely that is, how hard the Court does backflips, gyrations, and seemingly insane readings of state statutes to avoid having to declare them unconstitutional. But, yes, the People did put the supremacy clause into our Constitution, and most people agree that Justice Marshall was correct when he declared it the role of the Court to say what the law is. Again, I don't have a problem with that.

I also don't have a problem with people that are anti-abortion as long as they respect the law and their opponents. You don't see much of a difference between abortion and infanticide (if any). Fine. If you didn't see any difference and yet WEREN'T bothered I would doubt your humanity. Since you believe life begins at conception of COURSE you would be anti-abortion, and I respect you for that. I would hope you respect my opinion that life begins some time after conception, and thus I don't see any loss of life in a pre-viability abortion because I don't think a baby exists yet.

alix said...

hahahaha! i just about peed my pants reading this. LOL advice? no.
it takes me a solid 45 mins to get my nearly 4 yr old girl asleep, and this involves the full bedtime routine, PLUS i hafta stay in there with her "cuz she needs a friend."

what do you say when they ask "why do you and daddy get to be together and *i* have to be all alone when i sleep?"

why indeed.

stick it out, it won't last forever.

ALa said...

TWD: I actually have a law question (or B & M) say because OJ got off does that mean the legal system is flawed --and I say yes! Why can't the family hire a prosecutor...this has never made sense to me. This means a rich guy/gal contemplating a murder need only commit it in some backwater town with police Dept/Prosecutor that have never handled that kind of case/publicity/media swarm and hire a 'dream team' and they're off. If the 'bad guy' gets to have 'the best' shouldn't the victims family also have that option (and don't say they do in civil court -because like OJ they won't spend a day in jail or pay a dime)
Also, why isn't there a 'guilty by reason of insanity' charge --why are they not guilty because they are insane...they still did it. Another blogger raised a good point -what if someone kills a bunch of kids & gets 'not guilty by reason of insanity' then when she applies to teach Sunday School and fills out the 'have you ever been convicted of a crime' so can say 'no'....seems pretty flawed to me (the layman).