(A recreation of events that occurred this past Monday.)
niks: "Hey HS, I have a great idea. Since it's raining, let's take Charlie to Cars*! He loved Over the Hedge, and he sat through the whole thing no problem. What do you think?"
HS: "Great idea! And while we're at it, why don't we stop at that little carnival on the way home*? I have two tickets left, and Charlie can ride those cars he liked."
niks: "Perfect! I'm sure that will tire him out*, and he had a late nap, so he won't be too cranky*. We can just skip his bath* and put him right to bed when we get home*."
The stars indicate exactly where we, as loving parents, went wrong.
First, Cars. Did you know it's a TWO HOUR movie? For kids????? Ok, we should have checked that one first. And it's about race cars? Loud, flashy, zippy cars? Not exactly great fare for a two-and-a-half-year old to watch in the super mega surround sound multiplex.
Second, carnival????? At 9:30 at night? Yes, we are just that stupid. Let's take our antsy, overstimulated, somewhat tired child to a carnival! With flashing lights! And loud music! And why not put him on a loud ride that goes around and around and around! Let's get him more wound up, not tired out, shall we? Splendid idea!
Third, skip his bath????? The key to his bedtime routine? Madness! That's the thing about routines: they work so beautifully, but if you deviate from the plan prepare to pay the price. Although, to be fair to us, the slow to catch on, Charlie didn't actually protest until he was already in pyjamas and brushing his teeth, so we thought we were in the clear. Alas, no. The missing bath led to a MASSIVE hour-long meltdown that finally ended when Charlie fell asleep at 11 p.m. And he woke up at 7 a.m. demanding a bath. Needless to say, he got one.