Nocturnal Refusal: noun. The behavior or set of behaviors employed by a child in order to delay bedtime as long as possible.
Last night, our plan was simple. Have dinner, go to the grocery store, and put the kids to bed. Simple... in theory. What actually happened was that Monkey Son #2 got tired 2 hours before bedtime and took a nap, which meant a later bedtime. We had dinner later than we usually do, then went to the store, and came home. I let the kids play for a few minutes. Monkey Son #2 was cuddling with his lovey, and so I thought he was ready for bed and put him in his crib. Shortly after, I told Monkey Son #1 to go to bed.
Monkey Son #1: But it's still light out.
Mommy: There was a whole episode of Curious George devoted to this subject. You pay attention to everything else he does.
Monkey Son #1: I don't want to go to bed.
Mommy: Go brush your teeth.
Monkey Son #1 ran, I chased him to his room and carried him to the bathroom. After that, he started his nightly ritual of complaining that he's thirsty. He typically does this at least once, often twice or more. And because I want to be a good mom and don't want him to get dehydrated, I give him a drink most times he asks for it, even after bedtime, which only leads to a horde of cups hiding in the recesses of his room.
Shortly thereafter, Monkey Son #2 started giggling as Monkey Son #1 started doing who-knows-what. Probably dancing around and making animal noises. So, Monkey Son #2 decided it's time to get out of bed again and started to cry, demanding attention, playtime, and his sippy cup. This was followed by him grabbing at a library book, which I, being a, um, responsible patron, moved to the coffee table. Of course, he went after it, fell, and hit his nose on either the coffee table or the wicker basket next to it. Left a nice mark. After some I'm-sorry-you-got-hurt cuddling and a bath, he finally went to bed and I went to do the dishes.
And so the cycle continues, and tomorrow Monkey Son #2 will probably trick me, once again, into thinking he is ready for bed. Monkey Son #1 will still refuse to go to bed, still make an observation about the position of the sun, and will still be thirsty.