If you have a toddler, you understand that putting him to bed at the end of a long day can sometimes feel like a big, fat, eff you. The crazy bursts of energy, the begging, the pleading, the crying -- why does it have to be so hard? Why? Does anyone know the answer to that question?
If you have one of those kids who has been sleeping through the night since you brought him home from the hospital, please refrain from rubbing it in. Here is what a typical night getting a toddler to sleep is like for the rest of us (or at least me) -- in 100 steps.
1. Notice it is dark outside.
2. Mention bed time.
3. Listen to screams of "no" for approximately five minutes.
4. Find pajamas.
5. Chase toddler around the dining room table.
6. Catch him.
7. Try to figure out where you left the pajamas you just picked out.
8. Lay him down on your bed.
9. Get pajama bottoms over his ankles.
10. Try to stop him from thrashing like a fish out of water long enough to get his pajama pants up.
11. Start sweating.
12. Chase him around the bedroom.
13. Get him back on your bed.
14. Attempt to get his pajama top over his head.
15. Sweat more.
16. Wonder where he got his He-Man-like strength when it takes you a full minute to pry one of his arms away from his body far enough to slip it into his pajamas.
17. Swear silently when he makes if off the bed with one arm hanging out of his pajama top.
18. Chase him around the bed again.
19. Catch him.
20. Bite back tears.
21. Feel more accomplished than you have all day when you finally get his second arm into his pajamas.
22. Wonder why you decided to have children to begin with.
23. Think about your friend Tina who is traveling through Spain right now with nothing but a backpack and a dream.
24. Start to hate Tina.
25. Sit down and daydream about that trip you took to Europe when you were 22.
26. Wonder whatever happened to that guy you met on the boat from Italy to Greece.
27. Jar back to reality when you see your kid has wandered into the living room and attempted to turn on the TV.
28. Remember that you forgot to DVR Bachelor In Paradise.
29. DVR Bachelor In Paradise.
30. Start looking for your child.
31. Wonder if you can just let him wander around the house until he passes out from exhaustion.
32. Decide that's probably not a sound idea.
33. Try to lure him into his bedroom with a book of his choosing.
34. Wrack your brain when he mentions one you haven't seen in months.
35. Find it.
36. Try not to fly into a rage when he mentions the title of another book as soon as he sees you've found the one he's asked for.
37. Read it aloud slowly while ignoring his pleas for another book.
38. Tuck him in.
39. Agree to recite Good Night Moon from memory.
40. Agree again.
41. Recite it one more time.
42. Back out of the room slowly.
43. Affix baby gate.
44. Walk to the kitchen.
45. Pour yourself a glass of wine.
46. Remove toys from your favorite spot on the couch.
47. Sit down.
48. Turn on TV.
49. Wonder why they say the word "Journey" so much on Bachelor shows.
50. Judge yourself momentarily for watching The Bachelor franchise at all.
51. Let it go.
52. Actually start singing Frozen's Let It Go in your head for about 10 minutes.
53. Marvel at the fact that it only took you four bedtime stories to quiet your child.
54. Hear him cry Mommy! Mommy!
55. Wonder if you are supposed to knock on wood after merely having thoughts now.
56. Try to ignore his pathetic cries of Mommy! Mommy!
57. Realize if he keeps this up he's going to wake your sleeping infant in the next room.
58. Walk into his room.
59. Listen to him pathetically beg for another story.
60. Look for another book you haven't seen in months.
61. Find a piece of American cheese in your armoire while looking for Horns And Toes And In Between.
62. Wonder how long this cheese could have been in your armoire.
63. Marvel at just how hard this slice of cheese is.
64. Think about that Mom who saved that Happy Meal for like two years to prove it wouldn't decompose at all.
65. Make a mental note to be more concerned about things like that.
66. Find the damn book.
67. Walk back into your toddler's room.
68. Notice his triumphant, maniacal smile when he sees his pleas have worked.
69. Remember the comment that nanny made on a post you wrote months ago about what a pushover and crap mom you are.
70. Mentally agree with her.
71. Say a silent prayer that her future children are assholes.
72. Start reading Horns and Toes and In Between.
73. Notice that your son isn't even paying attention.
74. Say "goodnight."
75. Affix baby gate.
76. Return to wine and couch.
77. Notice that wine is warm.
78. Drink it anyway.
79. Hear your toddler complaining from his bed again.
80. Try to ignore it and convince yourself that these two people on TV who met last week are in love.
81. Hear a crash.
82. It's not followed by crying so you don't care.
83. It's followed by silence so you realize you actually do care.
84. Jump up and run to toddler's room.
85. Notice he's brought a giant Batcave toy into bed with him.
86. Remain uncertain about what the crash was.
87. Realize it's probably not that important.
88. Notice how peaceful your son finally looks.
89. He is so damn cute when he's not driving you crazy.
90. Forget about the sweating and near tears that happened when trying to get his pajamas on.
91. Forget about how much you hate it when he breaks into a sprint when you are trying to get him to bed.
92. Forget about your glass of wine.
93. Forget about Bachelor in Paradise.
94. Forget about your friend Tina.
95. Lean against his door an look at his cute face for a few minutes.
96. Think about how fast the last few years have gone.
97. Remember why you wanted to have children in the first place.
98. Bite back tears.
99. Whisper "good night."
100. Turn off the hall light.