The following is a guest post by JAB friend, comedian, and best selling author of the children’s book, Maybe in My Dreams (click to purchase), Paul Epperlein.
It’s Thursday night, and two full time working parents are desperately trying to retain a social life. The one year old is down, the three year old is glued to Nick Jr on Demand, the Uber is waiting at the corner, the wife is in heels and I can already taste the cabernet (I’m so mature). Now in my mind, Babysitters have it “easy” when they watch our goons. That’s because we like to consider ourselves parents who doesn’t take any crap from our 3 year old (Hudson).
- He says please (when we remind him)
- He says thank you (when we remind him)
- He shares (because we give his toys to his friends — BUT he doesn’t cry when we do)
You get the point. He may not do everything right the first time, but he’s trained to listen and accept our parenting (we win!). But when it comes to the end of the day, bedtime is essentially the Super Bowl of parenting, except it happens every 24 hours! Now we know our kids and all their little tricks to get out of going to sleep, but imagine how tough it is to be pulled off the bench in the 4th quarter to put them to sleep? That’s the role of a babysitter, and a quality and fairly affordable babysitter is like a brick of gold. So it’s critical that this whole situation goes well for a babysitter. Because if you want to have any semblance of a life away from Winnie the Pooh and clean up my “poo”, then you need to make sure your babysitting your kids is not a nightmare.
With this in mind, I thought I’d share the 22 “simple” things you need to know when putting our kids to bed, you know in case one of you wants to come over and babysit them for us (please?… anyone?… Bueller?) or maybe you can at least relate to our super cute but legal eagle 3 year old who knows every objection in the book to trying to go to sleep.
So here it is, my list of 22 things we try to quickly tell the baby sitter before hopping in our Uber and doing a triple-lindy into a glass of red
1) If Hudson says, “it’s not time for bed…2 more hours”…. Don’t worry, to a 3 year old – Hours = Minutes
2) If Hudson says, “One more _______ (Show, Oreo, Milky, Book) AND ALL DONE.” That’s just his way of making closing arguments. Sometimes the jury rules in his favor (Milk) other times he’s not so lucky (No more shows, bedtime).
3) When brushing Hudson’s teeth, don’t forget, he likes “a little taste” of his toothpaste before you brush his teeth…it’s like checking with the sommelier to make sure the wine is to your liking.
4) If Hudson says, “we forgot to have a cookie”. No, we didn’t forget to have a Cookie he’s just playing the cute card here. Give in if you want, but you’ll more than likely have to then repeat #1, 2 and 3.
5) When he “doesn’t have to poop”, he HAS to poop. You’ll always be able to tell because he’s holding his butt and telling you with a terrified look that he DOESN’T HAVE TO POOP!
6) When he wants confirmation that “there’s no Gargamel in his room” (a smurf assasin) ** Please acknowledge confidently**
7) And when he follows with, “Gargamel can’t come to his house because the police will come get him, right” **Yes — again**
Side note, who’s fucking idea was it to put a frightening assassin character in a little kids TV program? Whoever made that decision, definitely never had to put a 3 year old to sleep.
8) “There no “bad teacher” in his room” (Apparently the same guy who created the smurfs is running his daycare and decided to read this book aloud to the kids….thanks) ** Please acknowledge confidently **
8) When he asks, “You’re not going to cook anything after he goes to sleep” – Yep…I tend to set off alarms when I cook, and I’ve now permanently scarred my child because I like a little Chicken Parmesan.
9) When he asks if, “his camera won’t blink?” – Well it’s a 50/50 chance but for all intense purposes…no it won’t)** Please acknowledge confidently** (PS – best invention ever)
11) Please don’t ever turn off the hallway light, his auntie in florida did this by accident once and it was more scarring than the chicken parm alarm incident… #neverforget.
12) If he asks, “can Muno, Brobee, Peppa Pig, George and recently acquired giant Olaf sleep with him” – Well just grab a cup of coffee and some ear plugs, because it’s gonna be a long night for you.
13) Sometimes he wants a chair cuddle, and then a standing cuddle, and then his big blanket AND THEN small blanked put on top of him…in that order. When this is the case, please follow that progression exactly. Seriously, it’s like the steps for launching a rocket – one misstep and nothing works.
14) “Sweet dreams”….close the door…he says it…you open door and respond exactly….repeat additional 26 times **This is like a federer/nadal rally…stay focused and win the point**
15) “We’re not going to school tomorrow” — I usually go with a… “K”….. because he’s going to school tomorrow and then try and switch tactics to the sweet dreams last man standing competition and avoid this conversation at all costs **
16) “We forgot to have milky” — oh that 8oz of white nectar you crushed before you brushed your teeth…oh that’s right we forgot. Milk is in the fridge, but if you can, try and start the sweet dreams battle if you can.
17) If he didn’t poop earlier, then right before you think he’s ready to go to sleep, he HAS to pee — Don’t try and ignore this one. 30 second bathroom trips are way better than 2 hours of washing the sheets in the morning. A Kid’s bladder is more sensitive then Tom Cruise on Oprah’s chair. Help him aim, and the clorox wipes are in the closet.
18) One more chair cuddle, standing cuddle…”Then all done” – Try and hold fast, because if you go down this route it’s not just all the cuddling that starts from the beginning, you’re also back to the beginning of the 27 sweet dreams.
19) “I’m not gonna cry tonight” — Code for, “see you at 2:00 am for a tinkle, standing cuddle and 27 sweet dreams”
20) We’re nearing the end, but no matter what requests come next you’ve got to lay down the…”AND THEN WHAT?!?!” ultimatum. He will get flustered, and then you know it’s checkmate bitches!
21) Knowing it’s almost over, his last promise is that “he’s not going to touch anyone’s ears tomorrow” — This sounds weird, and it kinda is, but it will become more clear once he’s fondled your ear lobe for the entirety of this process.
22) There…that wasn’t so hard. Now go watch my TV and raid my pantry while earning $15/Hour and an Uber home on me.