10 Excuses for Why My Kid Can’t Go to Sleep…Quite Yet

I never realized how much more action happens in the bedroom once you have kids.

By “action” I mean getting out of your bed a thousand times a night to bring someone else back to her/his bed, tucking-in routines that make a typical OCDer shout “AGAIN with the Goodnight Moon?!”, and the back-and-forth battles over naps, bedtimes, wake times, and everything in between.

I’m no stranger to bedtime struggles. Nap-fighting and rationalizing my refusal to share a bed with my kids have been well-documented.

But now Miss A – almost 5yo – has come up with a new repertoire of excuses as to why she needs to leave her room and not go to bed…Quite Yet.

(Yes, she actually says “quite yet”.  No, I don’t know when she turned into a 57 year old British woman.)

Top 10 Excuses She Can’t Go to Sleep…Quite Yet:

10. The cup of water isn’t up to par.  She had requested “ice cold water with ice”, and this tastes like plain old cool tap water.  I get accused of bamboozling her.

9. The pillowcase is too soft & the blanket isn’t soft enough.  Can’t I do something about that?

8. “I messed up the calendar! I messed up my calendar FOREVERRRRRR!!!!!” No, you didn’t. It’s exactly right. “Oh.  I forgot.” 

Do we cross the day off before we start it or after we end it? SO CONFUSING. (Not.)

7. One of the 10 nightlights went out (yep, 10).  Even though it’s bright enough in there for me to tan, it’s not bright enough for her to sleep.

6. BugBite doesn’t seem hungry enough to eat all the extra dark tonight, and “I look EFRYWHERE for my flashlight!”

Meet BugBite. He has a job. He stays up all night, and if the room ever gets dark enough for monsters to want to visit, he eats the extra dark. Yes, really. Oh, and the flashlight? Where it ALWAYS is: to the left of the box of tissues he leans against every single day for the past year.

5. She forgot to tell the 2 tiny frogs in Daddy’s office Goodnight.

4. The “youmidifier” isn’t working, so she needs help blowing her nose. (Liar.)

3. She just remembered a funny story.  (This story is never actually funny.)


You chose 2 critters with the same exact blue fur & like to tuck the tiny one under the huge one's arm & ear. OF COURSE you don't see Doggy despite the fact that he's 6 inches from your face. Next time, fall in love with contrasting-colored critters, okay? Sheesh.

1. The arm-sized poo she’s been holding in for the past 12 hours cannot wait til morning.  Mama may start incorporating post-dinner enemas if she keeps this act up…that kind of poo retention simply can’t be healthy.

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  1. Tracy says

    LOL!! You have apparently stolen my child! Especially the poo part. That child hasn’t taken a dump before 9:00 PM in years.

    • says

      My almost 7yo came down 3x last night, then I remembered that he must be excited to go over a friend’s house today. I told him that if he didn’t sleep RIGHT NOW, he wouldn’t have enough energy to go there. Worked like a charm. ;)

  2. says

    My Miss 2 has a large repertoire of excuses already that she strings along together. Sometimes she doesn’t even wait for us to say no to the first one before starting on the second. I’m not looking forward to when she realises she needs to spread them out over the night.

  3. says

    Em’s new stunt is to alternately scream out any of the following, in no particular order, and sometimes – all at once:

    I Forgot
    I made a mistake
    I was wrong

    and finally,
    Aren’t YOU going to bed yet??
    Amy recently posted..On the other side …My Profile

  4. Mandy says

    My four year old now claims he can’t sleep in his own bed because ghosts will take ME if he’s not here to stop them with his bad breath.

  5. says

    What? You mean you don’t get the ten minute recital about the zombies trying to eat them, with green hair and guns, riding giant puppies and laughing, playing their DS’s and, no, they’re not scary, because it’s really just you and Daddy-excuse for not going to bed?

  6. says

    Love it! Having a four-year-old, I can relate. We lose our blankie every night, we’re scared, we want to cuddle or have another story. And I have another one who waits until everyone is in bed to poop. And then, just as I settle in to nurse the baby to sleep, he wants only MOMMY to wipe his bottom. Sheesh, what is it with these kids? I’m begging to go to sleep!
    Kathy recently posted..Spring Has SprungMy Profile

  7. says

    You’ve got to get that girl to poop in the mornings like everyone else. And PS… my 7-year old now refers to his poops as “man size poops.” Count your blessings you don’t have that kind of talk in your house!

  8. says

    Yeah, they all do it, I suppose. I should have known better. I had to remind my boys yesterday that farting in front of girls is not a good thing and that they should NEVER do it. I wonder if they’ll take my advice. A mother can dream.
    Stephanie recently posted..Two Truths and a LieMy Profile

  9. says

    OK, this all made me giggle A LOT but the poo thing definitely hit home. My son has abeen up several nights in a row an hour after he goes to bed with a huge poop. It’s like, son, you can’t go an hour before? Great post!
    Amanda Austin recently posted..T-R-O-U-B-L-EMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks, Amanda!
      I make both of them use the toilet before bed, but someone the poop doesn’t make its way out until both are about to doze off. So annoying!
      I know there are Rain Dances…are there any Poop Dances? I may Google this. We need an answer to this issue.

  10. says

    Yes to everything you said. I thought I was annoyed with my daughter’s poo schedule when it was Two Milliseconds After Dinner Is Put On the Table – but she’s moved it to Two Milliseconds After Being Tucked In, which is worse. And the STORIES!!! Mine go like this:
    Them: Mommy? Mommy? Mom?
    Me: Yes?
    Them: I forgot to tell you something.
    Me: What?
    Them: Uuummmmmmm….
    Until they think of something to say, usually, “I love you” just because they know that, legally, I can’t beat them after they say that.
    hollow tree ventures recently posted..Dr. Spock: Childcare Guru or Deranged Maniac? – Episode 3My Profile

      • Anonymous says

        my daughters (who is now 13.5yr) favorite line any time I was doing something that she was not the center of was….

        daughter: Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mom…….

        me: what!

        daughter: I just wanted to say I love you.

        sometimes she could even work up a tear or two!

        they are mini-Geniuses!!!


      • Misty K says

        my daughter (who is now 13.5) favorite line any time I was in the middle of something that she wasnt the center of was….

        daughter: Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mom. Mommy….

        me (after seeming an hour): what!

        daughter: I just wanted to tell you I love you

        sometimes she could muster up a tear or two. They are mini-GENIUSES!


    • says

      Dear Anna,
      3am is not “all night”. Wait for the green light so mama doesn’t lose for shizzle. Or at least have bacon and coffee ready to deliver to her once the light turns green.

  11. says

    Hilarious! Even now, my 18yo will give me similar excuses. The only good thing is I’ll just let the big ankle-biter stay awake without me. He can get his own ice water.
    Tara R. recently posted..In reverseMy Profile

    • Misty K says

      I admit that once when my daughter (now 13) was just 4 and had once of her night of I am not going to bed no matter what fits, I let her stay in her room laying on her bed until I was going to bed. When I went to bed I told her “ok, Mommy and Daddy are going to bed now. You can not come out of your room and you can not be loud but you can stay up as long as you want, in your room. you can not wake Mommy up unless you are bleeding.” and I went to bed. I expected to have her come in my room, right next door, at least every 5 minutes. All the lights in the house where off and she was in her room I tucked her in just like always and said good night. I only was woke up once. I rolled over and looked at the clock it was 4:30am. I asked her if she was bleeding, no. Then why are you out of your room waking me up? She went out of my room crying and I feel back asleep in a few mins. just to snap awake at 5am to a totally quite house. went into her room and she was laying across her bed legs from knees down hanging off, head in her hands totally passed out. and her room was clean. she hadnt played with anything. just the book and doll she had when I went to bed. Key to this little trick was not to let her nap the next day…..which I didnt we went to the park for the day, and we walked there. When bed time came at 8 she was out cold! Not that bed time was like magic every night after but she we didnt have the fit about it, just the usual I need a glass of water, I need another kiss, but it would usually only be three trips to her room vs the 100 before. And she would stay tucked in and not get up! (I dont recommend that everyone do this with their child though, you might wake up to a house in shambles. Or something dangerous. I actually had gotten this idea from a parenting source show or magazine.)

  12. Anonymous says

    Lol! I thankfully never went through all that, maybe because I was lax about getting them to bed on time so they would just pass out. Though my 3 year old would do that walking in your sleep thing that freaked me out. Love bug bite! Visiting from the writer edge hop!

  13. says

    I think your daugther and my son might have been separated at birth…but he’s nearly 7 now and still keeps coming up with excuses to delay bedtime … like “Mommy and Daddy, the TV’s too loud, you forgot to read a story with me, and questions like ‘What am I wearing tomorrow?’. Ugh!

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