My Five Rules for Bedtime

Bedtime, right?

When our oldest was a baby I had visions of cuddly story time, quiet chats as we put our little guy to bed, maybe even some insightful conversations about his day.


Is that happiness I hear?
Do I hear happiness in here?

There are moments of sweetness, of course. Who doesn’t enjoy being asked, “why are your arms so squishy?” or “can you leave now?” or “Are you going out? You’re not wearing yoga pants so you must be going out?” It’s just like I always pictured.

Trying to get four energetic boys ready for bed is how I burn off all the Oreos I eat. Even if I pace it out and try man-to-man versus a zone approach I still end up looking like Miss Hannigan.

And so, I present to you My Five Rules for Bedtime.

1. Leave Mommy’s shoes alone. I don’t mind if you try them on, but not when you should be brushing your teeth and definitely not when that’s all you’re wearing.

He is surprising agile in those
He can strut around in those better than I can. So proud.

2. Don’t eat the toothpaste. If you stumble upon a dried up, clumpy mound of white pasty goodness, leave it alone or toss it in the garbage, but please do not eat it. Or if you can’t resist, wait until I leave the room.

3. Farting during the bible story. No. Ditto for prayers.

4. No naked running. No naked hurdles. No naked dancing. No naked — look, just put some clothes on.

5. One brother on the toilet at a time.


Your turn – bedtime rules you have or wish you’d had – go.

Author: Jan Moyer

Embracing my inner child since 2005.

11 thoughts on “My Five Rules for Bedtime”

  1. We’ve had a one question only rule in place because we’d get taken in (and by were I mean me) by deep theological questions. You may have imagined that would be awesome, but it’s exhausting and time consuming. Worth it, but by 8:30 I was done for the night. So yeah, I’m the terrible parent that cuts off meaningful discussion for self preservation reasons.

  2. Do what I freaking tell you. If. I say get in the bath, I do not mean hide behind the couch. Let’s get your pajamas on does not mean hide in the curtains. The curtains may cover your naked bum, but they are not pajamas.

  3. Our main rule is until you can tie your shoes, you cannot brush your own teeth. Yet she still asks every single night if it’s “Quinn’s turn?” and the answer is always no. Otherwise she’s pretty good with story time and prayer unless you’re not doing either of them the “correct” way.

  4. Oh, darling… FOUR of them? I have only two boys (now 9 and 10) and nakedness has only just begun to be less hilarious for them. As far as I can tell, farting continues well into adulthood and is never NOT funny. Putting small children to bed is exhausting and requires wine and yummy snack rewards.

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