This mission is not for the faint of heart.
Objective: Get children into bed for duration of the night.
Subjects: Two (2) 3-year-olds, highly skilled in art of stalling.
1900: Fail to plan; plan to fail. Begin warning little ones of impending ni-ni time.
1915: Remind subjects of daily routine as final preparation. Consider warm bath for both calming and classification purposes. (Camouflage war paint created from playground dirt may obscure identifying features/traits.)
1930: Wrap subjects in fluffy towels and carry subject to abodeâ€™s second level. Descend staircase and repeat process.
1935: Engage in verbal banter regarding nightwear. (Early recon team member should alert mission operators as to availability of Cars/Mickey Mouse jammies. Surprising subjects with â€œwrongâ€ outfit will likely result in a tantrum.)
1945: Story time. Lull subjects into relaxation state of â€œNO! MY TURN. I TURN THE PAGE!â€ and â€œMY MOMMY.â€ Successful operation entails one book per subject â€“ chosen after effective jammie clothing application. Child who chooses book should be seated in parentâ€™s lap for the duration of chosen story.
1950: Answer questions regarding every intricate detail of every pen stroke drawn upon the pages.
2000: Remind children they each get a single story. Clarification â€“ one (1) book per kid. Repeat â€œNo, we read our stories already. Letâ€™s go. Come on.â€ Continue verbal cajoling as needed.
2005: Brush teeth. (Prevents cavities, good for morning kisses when both subjects may potentially be in a good mood.)
2010: Request small ones to stop sucking on brush. Spit. Clean spit where sink was missed. Mop sink countertop where â€œI do it myself!â€ rinsing occurred.
2015: Potty break.
2020: Repeat potty request.
2030: Clean bathroom floor and walls where projectile liquid emissions totally missed the mark. Rinse and repeat for good measure.
2045: Herd preschoolers back into bed. Tuck each child in â€“ snug as a bug in a rug. Hug and kiss one child. Hug and kiss the other child. Repeat minimum three times as each kid requests another.
2050: Turn on turtle nightlight stars. Pause for debate on preference between purple and green night sky.
2051: Give offspring benefit of the doubt that we are all born inherently good. Inquire if they are going to be good boys and stay in bed tonight. Give child who immediately responds, â€œNo,â€ credit for honesty.
2055: Greet child at door as they tiptoe back into the hallway. Sternly request child get back in bed. (Repeat twice.)
2100: Subject 1 states need for water. Followed by brotherâ€™s matching need. Each will then want more. Travel to and from the bathroom with a half-full green plastic cup. (Note â€“ divergent colors will not be accepted.) Tuck children back into bed.
2110: Subject 2 declares need to potty. Escort wee one to potty. Watch Subject climb onto potty, off of potty, onto potty, off of potty. Watch Subject flip light switch on and off 87 times. Return to bed. Tuck child back into bed.
2115: Hear door open. Review visual from video monitor. Discover one child out of bed. Hear nothing. Listen for subtle rattle of stuffed lovie. Threaten to take lovie away if child doesnâ€™t stay in bed. Return child to bed. Tuck child in. Hug and kiss brother. (Repeat four times.)
2120: Brother now needs to go potty. Approach bathroom only to be told he already peed in his pullup. Discover jammie pants are soaking wet. Console sobbing little one. Change sheets.
2130: Tuck boys back into bed. Reset green/purple stars nightlight. Close bedroom door.
2132: Hear door open. Review visual from video monitor. Discover one child out of bed. Hear nothing. Listen for subtle rattle of stuffed lovie. Decide to employ ignore tactic. Maintain contact on lovie rattle to ensure Subject has not fallen asleep on the stairs and fallen down them.
2145: Hear pitiful wail for parent. Don gas mask and approach with caution. CODE BROWN! CODE BROWN! (Do not abort mission. Leave no parent behind.)
2150: Start 14th load of laundry. (Recommend stain treatment/hottest hot water option.) Retrieve now naked Subject and carry at arms length back to the bathtub. Repeat protocol from 1915/1930 hours.
2200: Tuck freshly washed child back into bed. Kiss and hug. Reset stars. Close door. Pour wine.
Mission conclusion: 1930 bedtime achieved at 2200, 2.5 hours behind schedule.
Retire and prepare for imminent bedside wakeup rendezvous (water, potty, scary dream) at 0300.