How to Put Your Four Year Old to Bed in Three Easy Steps

Now that I got your attention, it is impossible to put your child to bed in three easy steps every single night.  If I really had a solution to that, I could be making millions selling foolproof parenting tips.  Here is what a typical night putting Jo to bed looks like:

Bath, pajamas, brush teeth, prayers and bed.  Looks simple right?  Let me elaborate, I’ll just skip to the pajamas part.  “We need to put a pull-up on Jo.” “But I want to wear big girl panties!” “No because we had an accident the last 4 nights and all your sheets are still in the dryer so we need to wear a pull-up.” (Fight ensues) *pull-up on and in bed*. “Ok let’s say prayers.” “But I want MOMMY to say prayers!” “Ok, mommy say prayers.” “Don’t forget to pray for all my cousins….oh and no bad dreams! Only good dreams! Of pets!” “Ok now get some sleep.” “But I’m thirsty!” “But I just gave you milk before you brushed your teeth.” “But I’m still thirsty!” *gets milk, drinks milk* “ok, goodnight!” “Daddy you forgot my music!” (And by music she means “Let it Go” on repeat, I wish I wasn’t telling the truth on that) *turns on music* “ok goodnight!” “The light is too dark daddy, turn it up a little.” “If I turn it up anymore it will literally be ON Jo, go to bed.” “Where’s purple?!” (Purple is her purple blanket) “purple is right beside you sweetheart now go to sleep.” *leaves room and shuts the door* “but I wanted MOMMY to shut the door!” *opens door back up so mommy can shut it* “GOODNIGHT JO!” “Goodnight daddy!” *5 min later* “daddy!!!! Minnie is in here!!!” (Minnie is our cat)…47 min later, she is finally in bed and quiet.
I wish I was exaggerating this but I’m not.  There are nights where I will lay down beside her and she’ll cuddle up next to me and I’ll tell her about the day she was born.  How she looked at me with those big eyes and I was the first human she saw in this world.  She loves to hear how I cried happy tears.  We will talk about how we are hillbillys, or hillybillys as she calls us.  We talk about all kinds of things.  I tell her about all the things she did that day that made me proud.  Usually there is a tickle fight thrown in there somewhere.  It always comes up that she isn’t allowed to turn 5.  She is not allowed to get any bigger, she has to stay my little girl forever. Her response is priceless, “but daddy! I HAVE to turn 5! God is making me bigger! I will still go on dates with you and give you hugs and kisses!”  It’s things like that where all the struggles, all the frustrations, all the impatience I exhibit on a daily basis, all the tantrums…none of it matters.  She’s my girl.  Whether she is 4 or 44, she’s my girl.  And you better believe I’m going to hold her to those dates! AROO!


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