Mr Perfect Dad (MPD): Hey there, dear reader! Mr Perfect Dad, here. I am a parenting expert.
Mike (M): Sup, y’all. I am Mike……and I am not a parenting expert. If you’ve read my older posts, you know that, though. That is why I invited Mr Perfect Dad over, to give me some advice.
MPD: Honored to be here! I’m going to share with you 7 tips for putting your children to bed. Follow these, and even the most difficult dilly dallyer will become a sleeping beauty in no time!
M: You had me at difficult. J’s passed out, but B is up. Yo B, come here! Mr Perfect Dad is going to put you to bed tonight!
MPD: Routine, routine, routine! Kids thrive on repetition and familiarity. Get into habits, and stick with them every night.
M: This is true. B and J routinely find new and creative ways to stay awake.
MPD: No, good routines only! For example, you could start the evening off by telling a story as a family. I’m fond of improv, where one person says a line to begin, then someone else says the next line, and so on. Whose line is it, anyway? Haha. Hoho.
M: Fun! Like, there once was a man from Nantucket….
M: There once was a small piano, and tiny pianist…
B: Weiner! Weiner!
MPD: No! No! Let’s move on.
MPD: A common stall tactic that wee ones like to employ is going potty. They hold their tinkles or doodoos in, and use having to go to potty later on as a way to get a second wind. A second wind means more precious seconds spent goofing off, which should be spent in dreamland. Thus, to get around that, force your children to empty their bladders and bowels before being put down for the night!
Me: It’s just that easy, huh? Alright, let’s try it on B.
MPD: See? He went, and now he has a fresh pull-up on. There’s no reason for…..wait, what’s that smell? Are you pooping? Why aren’t you using the potty?
B: Because it’s Thursday and I can’t see and I need a light to see.
MPD: What does that mean?!
M: Eww. Hold your breath, you don’t want to get a whiff of that second wind. What else do you got?
MPD: Kids are experts at entertaining themselves. To minimize stimulation at night, remove all toys from the bedroom! When left to their own devices, they are more prone to pass out from boredom, than if they have fun objects around to amuse them.
M: One night, B played hide and seek in his room with some socks. The socks couldn’t find him in his closet, so I guess he won. Do I need to take out all items, or just toys?
MPD: Is that a serious question?
MPD: Whoo! Do you hear that? That silence is the sound of a toddler running out of steam. Soon he’ll be asleep…. aww, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be in your room!
B: I need to find my cousin.
M: Haha, he’s going to the playroom to get a car! Yeah, guess his cousin is a Hot Wheels. Uh oh, now he’s going back for a bucket of cars. Must be a family reunion! Yo, it’s getting late. So far, your tips aren’t working, El Perfecto. You don’t look so happy, either. Got any other tricks?
MPD: Yell!!!! Yelling is an effective form of communication! Sometimes, fear needs to be instilled! Do you have a Freddy Krueger mask?
M: Whoa. Chill out, dude. You’re not scaring my kids.
MPD: Err…my apologies for losing my cool. What I meant to say is that children are intelligent, so appealing to their sense of reason in a stern voice can go a long way in getting them to settle down for the night.
M: Whenever I try to reason with B, and even J, I get outsmarted.
MPD: I…..I…don’t know how to respond to that. But let me show you. Is he drumming now? This is ridiculous! Hey, YOU! You are being too LOUD, be QUIET!
B: I’m not loud, I’m clicking! See? Click click click! This is loud! (Marches around drumming)
MPD (covers ears): He is right….that is loud.
Me: Well, you sure told him. Oh, great, he woke up J. What advice do you have for putting down two kids at the same time?
MPD: This works on two kids simultaneously. For small toddlers, soothing, soft sounds are a parent’s secret weapon. Sit beside their bed, stroke their little heads, and whisper sweet nothings over and over.
M: You mean, like saying Beetlejuice?
MPD: No. I don’t mean that at all.
M: Yeah, because if you say Beetlejuice too many times, he might appear. And that guy is noisy! No one can sleep around him. Speaking of which, J is still crying. It’s keeping B up.
B: She is crying! She is too loud!
MPD: Thanks, Captain Obvious. I just need some more time.
M: Your secret weapon isn’t working. Maybe try some ocean noises or something.
B: She is too loud! It is making me angry!
MPD: Thank you, Captain Ironic! And silence, all of you! I’m the expert! Any other household, and my advice is foolproof!
M: You’ve been trying your tips for hours, and haven’t done any better than I normally do. So who is the fool, exactly? Anyway, more advice, please!
MPD: Bribery! When all else fails, bribe them! What do your kids like? Toys? Movies? Candy? Hey children, I will buy you a chocolate factory if you go the F*** to sleep right now!
M: Easy there, Willy Wonka. I don’t know about that. Rewarding them to combat defiance doesn’t seem like good parenting.
MPD (sobbing): J won’t stop crying. B just turned the dishwasher on. Why did he do that? BLARGH!!!
MPD: A long car ride can do wonders!
M: That worked when they were babies. It will work on bigger kids, too?
MPD: I meant for me. I’m out of here. I need a drink or two or a six pack. Nights like this are why I decided to never have kids. Bye.
M: See ya. Thanks for the tips! Maybe they’ll help someone out there. Or not. Doesn’t matter. C’mon B and J, let’s go lie in my bed and wait for Mommy to come home. Mr Perfect Dad was a real downer, eh? Sheesh.
(NOTE: While mainly a fictitious post, the actions of B and J that evening were 100% real.)