The Tactics of a Three-Year-Old

It’s not unusual to encounter some sort of resistance during the bed time routine.  There are many techniques –

  • Evasive Action – Flat out run away.  This is an instinctual reaction, right?  Fight or Flight.  Just run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.  It’s not a bad tactic.  You can’t blame the kid for trying.
  • Fight – An outright tantrum which is never pleasant and can result in injury with all those limbs flailing about.  Or the karate chop – seriously, she has “hi-yad” me before.  It’s hard not to laugh.  Laughing just drags out the bed time routine.  Never break down people.  Rule#1 in parenting – don’t laugh.  This is serious business.  Bedtime is serious.  Really. It is.
  • The Activist –  There’s a lot of “Hell No We Won’t Go” going on.  Just kidding.  Seriously, before you start judging, there’s just a lot of loud NOs.  Of course, there are other tactics that fall into this activist title.
    • The Lock Down – otherwise known as dead weight or even making yourself as big as possible so that you can’t get through the doorway.
    • Nude protest – this usually goes hand in hand with evasive action for maximum effect.
    • Nonviolent approach – Mama, I love you followed by a big cuddly hug.  Need I say more?  This one is quite powerful.  MLK Jr. and Ghandi were onto something with this approach.

And most recently,

  • The Greek Siren Method – She’s only 3, how did she manage to add this to her repertoire of tactics?

The other night, I heard Lola crying.  “I just want dada to hold me.”  Over and over and over.  The same song.  Of course, as the concerned parent, and because it was my turn, I go check on her.

I walk in her room and she turns to look at me with sad eyes and a tear-stained face.  She starts in on her song, “I just want dada to…”  pause, regroup  “I just want mama to hold me.”

Did I learn nothing reading the Odyssey?  You’re supposed to ignore the call of the Siren.

Hesitate for even a second and she has you.  In that split second, she has sensed your weakness and can now move on to the true tactic, the core of all tactics, Stall – do anything that will make you, the parent, stay in that room longer which equals staying awake longer.  There’s no real strategy just keep talking, keep stalling.  Usually looks a bit like this:

Lola:  Mama, mama I need….quickly looking around to room to see if she can come up with something good.

This happens EVERY time I try to leave the room, causing me to take a step back into the room.  This could go on forever if I don’t put a stop to it.  Short of evasive action, I haven’t quite figured out how to stay one step ahead.  I think I will try out my noise cancellation head phones tomorrow night.  Maybe that’s the real reason Dr. Dre created his Monster Beats headphones – sound quality aside – let’s talk about combat a 3-yr olds sneaky bedtime tactics?

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