What It's Really Like to Put a Child to Bed (in 15 Easy Steps)

Our bedtime routine is exhausting. What started out as a 20-minute process has turned into a full hour-and-a-half affair, usually culminating in everyone (adults included) eventually falling asleep in one of my kids' beds. I'm not quite sure how we got here, but getting out is proving harder than I thought. The funny thing is, we (the adults) know it is a game, and we are consistently falling into our kids' traps. I can only imagine what they are thinking as we go through the motions every night.

Here, a look at our bedtime routine — through both my and my kids' eyes. Sweet dreams!

01
7:30 p.m.
Paramount Pictures

7:30 p.m.

Mom: It's just about bedtime — let's get this thing started a bit early and maybe it will go smoothly this time.

Kids: I see her looking at the clock. Let's see how long we can drag this out tonight.

02
7:45 p.m.
Fox

7:45 p.m.

Mom: Why does it take so long to put on a single pair of pajamas?

Kids: Underwear on the head is funny regardless of how many times I've tried it.

03
7:50 p.m.
Disney

7:50 p.m.

Mom: Whew, I feel like I just won a wrestling match getting the kids into their PJ's.

Kids: Maybe we tired her out so she won't be able to argue with us to actually get into bed.

04
7:55 p.m.
NBC

7:55 p.m.

Mom: I sent you in to brush your teeth — what are you doing?

Kids: TOOTHPASTE FIGHT! How cool is this picture I just drew with the toothpaste?!

05
7:57 p.m.
Giphy

7:57 p.m.

Mom: Fine, if they have an accident because they refuse to go to the bathroom before bed, they'll learn . . .

Kids: Yes, who has the power now?

06
8:05 p.m.
Giphy

8:05 p.m.

Mom: We'll pick a short book, and they'll be asleep in no time.

Kids: If she thinks she's getting away with a short book, she's crazy.

07
8:12 p.m.
CBS

8:12 p.m.

Mom: I've seriously pulled every book off the shelves. JUST PICK ONE!

Kids: I will not listen to Where the Wild Things Are another time.

08
8:13 p.m.
Paramount Pictures

8:13 p.m.

Mom: OK, maybe I can lull the kids to sleep with some Dr. Seuss rhythmic rhymes.

Kids: I LOVE Dr. Seuss.

09
8:29 p.m.
Lionsgate

8:29 p.m.

Mom: OK, no more reading. Lights off. It's time for bed.

Kids: Here we go!

10
8:34 p.m.
Flickr user popofatticus

8:34 p.m.

Mom: He isn't thirsty . . . he's stalling, but I'll get it.

Kids: I know I'm not thirsty (plus, remember, I didn't use the bathroom).

11
8:42 p.m.
HBO

8:42 p.m.

Mom: A back rub? I'm the one who needs a full-body massage!

Kids: Well, it does feel good!

12
8:49 p.m.
Universal Pictures

8:49 p.m.

Mom: Now he wants to talk about what he learned in class?

Kids: Oh shoot, now what do I tell her?

13
8:53 p.m.
NBC

8:53 p.m.

Mom: Hungry? He ate his whole plate of dinner and mine . . . I'm not going to give in.

Kids: She wouldn't let me go to bed hungry, would she?

15
9:04 p.m.
E!

9:04 p.m.

Mom: ZZZZZZZZ

Kids: ZZZZZZZ