Bedtime Drama is Here to Stay


boys having a pillow fight. bedtime drama Bedtime drama doesn’t end when your kids grow out of diapers. I’m the mom of two boys who are 11 and 8. Bedtime drama is here to stay.

Baby sleep routines

As an infant, our oldest was the model child. I cringed telling other parents how well he slept because I knew he was an exception to the rule. We had our little routine of changing into jammies, lavender lotion, feeding, reading, rocking, laying him down, and turning on his noise machine. He slept in solid stretches from a young age.

When his brother came along, I fully understood the parents who said their babies had a lot of bedtime drama. Nothing worked. Trying and failing a boatload of different sleep techniques occupied about a year of our life. In his defense, he was the second kid and his pesky brother had this rigid bedtime routine that also needed attending to.

Big-kid bedtime drama

Now? Our bedtime drama is completely different.

First, there’s the whining. You would think I’m asking them to clean the toilets with a toothbrush.

Next, there’s wrestle mania from the living room to the bathroom with the occasional, “Mom!!!! He just trucked me while I was trying to brush my teeth!”

Once there’s been discipline for the minor injuries sustained during the teeth-brushing battle, it’s time for bed.

Our kids still want to share a bedroom making bedtime an extra-special experience.

Our oldest crawls up into his loft with approximately three blankets, two stuffies, a sleep mask, a lavender sleep roller, and a glass of water. He requests the fan be on “two notches,” the nightlight is plugged in, and the door is exactly halfway open when I turn out the lights.

His little brother barrels into his queen-sized bed under the loft, bear hugs me, and sometimes asks for water.

You know that Taylor Swift song? “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.”

Well, it IS me. I am the problem.

Our little routine (AKA: me babying our oldest) has created an 11-year-old with many bedtime demands. Meanwhile, our youngest had one rough year as an infant and he’s now the kid waking up 10 minutes before school. When he’s out, he’s out.

All of that bedtime drama is woven with sweet brother moments. When we do turn out the lights, listening to them talk about their day is pretty cute.

They end their conversations with:

  • Beckett: “Night, Huds.”
  • Hudson: “Night, Beckett”
  • Beckett: “Love you”
  • Hudson: “Love you, too.”

I know I am in that sweet stage of parenting, bedtime drama and all. Soon enough, bedtime drama is going to morph into broken curfews and forgotten school projects that are due in the morning. 

But, that’s parenting. It’s always changing and we’re always learning, bedtime drama and all.


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