“I can’t sleep because my ankle itches.”
“I need to get my doll in her pajamas.”
“My eyebrow feels funky.”
Melissa Willets of Sparta, New Jersey, says it was hearing excuses like these from her daughters at bedtime that made her ask the question, “What do they think they’re missing once they’re in bed?”
Willets, 35, who blogs at Spit Up and the Suburbs, pokes fun at the question in her recent post for BabyCenter, a photo essay titled, “What kids think we do after they go to bed.” In the series of photos, the mom-of-three and her husband, Luke, pose in a variety of humorous shots, drinking juice out of wine glasses, wearing dress-up clothes and raiding the family’s yogurt tube stash with wild abandon.
With daughters ages 6, 4 and 15 months, Willets says she’s heard the gamut of stories and questions to avoid bedtime, from “Does everyone die one day?” to waiting to discuss major school happenings until the last moments before lights-off.
“One night the kids really didn’t want to go to bed, and I jokingly said to my husband, ‘Hurry, get them to bed so we can watch Frozen.’ That was how the idea started,” said Willets. “I know they don’t really think Mommy and Daddy are up playing in the Barbie Dream House, but we decided to have some fun with the idea.”
The series of photos prompted BabyCenter readers to share their own bedtime woes.
“My 5-year-old always thinks I am playing his Plants vs. Zombies game on the iPad after he goes to bed, so he gets up 2-3 times ‘to go to the bathroom’ to make sure I’m not. Um, no kid, I’m checking Facebook and watching movies and shows on Netflix,” one parent commented.
“My kids know exactly what I’m doing after they are in bed – because I tell them, and because they come downstairs 3-4 times every night to check on me. Clean up after dinner, finish up my work from the day, pump one last time before falling in bed, and if we’re really adventurous, I’ll watch a DVR’d episode of Dr. Who with my husband before collapsing,” said another.
Willets, who enforces a 7:30 p.m. bedtime in her home, agrees that grown-up time is essential to any parent’s sanity.
“Another hour of constant demands and everyone talking over one another to get my attention, and I’d go crazy! I like that my husband and I can actually talk without being interrupted by questions about why Sleeping Beauty and Snow White both fall asleep for a long time in their movies.”