Bedtime is usually a sweet event filled with kisses, hugs, songs, stories, and plenty of "I love you". It can be a challenge, to be sure, but I'd be quick to argue that it's easily one of the best times of the day. I mean, in the end, your kid is fast asleep and you get some quality time alone or with your partner. Still, bedtime isn't all fun and games. Sometimes kids do some pretty creepy things when it's bedtime, probably in an attempt to stay awake that, in turn, can keep you away (out of pure, unabashed fear), too.
For example, my daughter has started to give me this intense, scary stare when she's not ready (or willing) to sleep, but too exhausted to fight it or continue playing. She has also started acted like there's someone in the room with us during bedtime which, you know, is absolutely terrifying. These are both recently new developments that, if I'm being honest, I'm not all that excited about. I've heard too many bedtime ghost stories and watched too many horror movies to think this is in any way, shape or form, cute. Sorry, kid.
My daughter definitely isn't naturally or innately "creepy." In fact, she is one of the sweetest, most living and kind children I think I have ever known. (Sure, I'm biased, but I have to deal with her bedtime routine so I have earned the right to have this opinion.) Still, she has her creepy moments, just like anyone else, and when it's bedtime, I'm bound to notice her doing one of the following:
They Use An Evil Laugh To Try And Stay Awake
It's like they just know that evoking some evil laugh will throw you off your bedtime routine. I'm seriously taken aback, trying to figure out how this strange and creepy sound can come out of such a sweet and kind-hearted child.
They Get A Random Burst Of Energy
You didn't have a treat after dinner and you haven't consumed any sugar recently so, like, where is this coming from? It's almost like my kid is possessed by some energy-filled entity, because she should be exhausted (I am) and, instead, she's running laps around our home.
They Reach For Someone Who Isn't There
It's pretty normal to have an imaginary friend, but it will never "feel" normal when I watch my kid insist on giving someone a hug "goodnight," when that someone doesn't actually exist.
They Insist You Place Certain Things In Specific Places
This may mean putting toys in specific places in the bed or in the room. It may mean turning certain toys around so they face the wall or the door or the window. It may even mean insisting you stay in the room in a specific place until they fall asleep. Why must everything be so meticulous? Are you just super organized like me and everything has it's own place at the end of the day? Or are you setting up your toys for protection? You know what? Don't answer that.
They Have Complete Conversations With Their Toys
Don't get me wrong, I love it when my daughter talks to her toys. Those conversations are actually pretty entertaining (well, at least one side of the conversation is).
While I know this is just her attempt to keep herself awake, I also know that I'm too tired to find it entertaining. I just find it creepy, especially when the conversations take a turn towards "mad" or "frustrated," and certain toys are thrown around the room.
They Tell You "Bye Bye" Instead Of "Night Night"
Nope. No, no, no, no. You aren't going anywhere in the middle of the night, and neither am I. No reason to say bye, kid.
These are usually the nights I constantly check on my daughter. I'll keep my eyes glued to the monitor or I'll constantly go in her room to make sure she's breathing and, yeah, I'm not getting any sleep.
They Play With (Or Stare At) The Baby Monitor
My daughter just recently realized the power of the baby monitor, and this is not a great development (for me). She knows where it is, can reach it to grab it if she tries hard enough, and will hold it in front of her face. Yes, young lady, I know you "see" me. I know because in black and white you look pretty creepy and I'm not about it.
They Wake Up And Stare At You The Moment You Lay Them Down
Some nights, in order to get our daughter to sleep soundly, we have to rock her to sleep and then lay her down in her bed. There are nights when it works and nights when, well, it doesn't. On the nights it doesn't, my daughter is usually fast asleep in my arms, but the moment she hits the mattress her eyes are wide open and she's wide awake and she just stares at me. She knows, you guys. She just knows.
They Lay In Bed, Silently, And Stare At The Ceiling
Rarely do kids just sit still and don't say a word, so this is always somewhat unsettling. Sometimes, my daughter will simply play in bed, look at the ceiling and not say a word. She's not asleep, she just seems to be contemplating life or something, and it's always just a tad creepy.
They Squeeze Your Hand, Even After They've Fallen Asleep
One of our other tricks we try is to hold our daughter's hand as she goes to sleep so she knows we are still there with her but we don't accidentally wake her up in the transition to her bed. When we think she's asleep, we try to sneak away. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes she is asleep but she squeezes my hand when I try to remove it to sneak out of the room. How does she know?