6 Foolproof Bedtime Tips from the World’s Greatest Dad
by Patrick Wensink
Are your kids asleep yet?
I thought not. That’s good news because it means I found you just in time. I am here to make tuck-in times go incredibly smooth. I have six can’t-miss tips for making bedtime easy for you and your kids courtesy of the world’s greatest dad.
You are welcomed in advance.
What makes me the greatest dad in the world? Glad you asked. You probably already heard about how I was bestowed the illustrious title in a touching ceremony in mid-June and was given this lovely award. My acceptance speech was incredible, look it up on YouTube.
Now that my resume is out of the way, let’s get down to business. BEDTIME.
Kids hate it and you want it to end quickly as possible. But bedtime never goes according to plan. Why? Probably because you are not the World’s Greatest Parent. Not yet, at least. After reading my six-pronged bedtime attack plan you, too, will soon be sporting a stunning white ballcap proclaiming your greatness.
Step one to an all-star bedtime routine: Get them to slip on those jammies. One leg at a…one leg at a…get over here. Okay, last time I’m saying this, get your pajamas — whoa! The curtain is not a rope.
No, I don’t care if you are swinging from a vine in the rain forest because bandits are chasing you. Please get down and put on you pajam — put on your pajamas.
You know what, just for tonight you can sleep in your daytime clothes. Just this once…yes, I know you wore them last night, too.
Hop into bed and hush, please.
2. Story Time
Here’s the secret ingredient to being well on your way to winning a Greatest Parent Award: strictly read two books. As a genius parent you will read the first book and then hold the second book over your rambunctious ball of energy’s head. It is easily the most adorable form or ransom you will perform all day!
Let your kiddo pick out this first book, breeze through it, and then let them know they get one more book, buster. But…you won’t read a lick until they brush their teeth.
Cross your arms for emphasis. That always works.
3. Tooth Brushing
Okay, off to the bathroom and brush your…no, I said no more books until we brush your teeth. Just go to the sink and…to the sink and…wait, whoa, not the curtains again. Do you notice what my hat says?
Okay, how about I bring the toothbrush to you and you can brush them in bed.
Just hold the toothbrush. It’s the cute one you like, with the cartoon moose, just put in your hand and rub it against your teeth — you know what, I’ll brush them.
Open…open, please. Fine! We’ll brush twice in the morning.
4. Second Story
Ahhh, here we go. A relaxing, calm little read in a soothing voice that is certain to shush the kids into dreamland. They might even drift off while you are reading and you can skip Steps Five and Six. Then, we Great Parents can go to the den and enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne as the world toasts our unflappable parenting abili — you want another story?
When you say two books you must mean two books. It’s important to be firm. Cross your arms and point to the hat if you must.
5. Finding Stuffed Animals
Now that we have all the stories out of the way, we can round up teddy bears, elephants, giraffes, snakes, crabs, and all other stuffed creatures our kids need to sleep. Only one step left and we can bask in the glory of World Class Parenting.
Awww, that was sweet.
Well, okay, yes I’ll read one last story. A quick one. Then it is lights out.
Just sit still and close your eyes.
6. A Kiss and a Hug and Lights Out
Good night. I love you. Sweet dreams. And now I will flip off the light and slip out the door…
It’s way too late for another story. I know I read an extra, but two extra books is nuts. Not gonna happen.
It’s lights out. I mean it.
Another book is not going to happen.
Step away from the curtains!
Okay, fine. One last story.
…but please give me back my hat.
Patrick Wensink is the author of Go Go Gorillas: A Romping Bedtime Tale, a lively, rhyming bedtime tale.