Reverse Psychology

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So last night The Lovely Rhonda and I attended “Jersey Boys,” a Tony-award-winning musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Okay, so that sounds like a total snorefest but it was super fun.  There was lots of Jersey language and music and stuff.  Shut up.

Normally when we leave our kids with a sitter, especially a new sitter, they act a fool and at least one of them refuses to go to bed.  It really puts a damper on the evening knowing that when you get home you’ll have to placate an astonished babysitter who had no idea that children as winsome as ours are capable of such acts of domestic terrorism.

The other day TLR and I were discussing how we handle bedtime routines when we allow the kids to stay up later than usual, like when we have barbecues.  Normally we read to them for fifteen or twenty minutes before tucking them in, and while it’s easy for us to skip that part, it turns out that it’s not so easy for them to skip it.  I suggested that we try just reading for less time than usual — five minutes spent reading might head off an hour of screaming fits because “WAAAAAH I WANT TO REAAAAAAAAD!”   Maybe we had been setting them up for failure because they just couldn’t tolerate quite this much interruption to their routines.

Something about that conversation stuck with her, so last night instead of trying to get the kids to adhere to the usual routines TLR instructed the babysitter and the children that they should be in bed with their jammies on but that they could stay up and read as long as they stayed in bed.  The children were practically cackling with glee and rubbing their little hands together.  They could stay up until we got home!  It was insanity!  Total chaos!

Why did it take us this long to figure this out?

We got home around 10:30pm and all the kids were passed out.  They’d been asleep for at least an hour.  Nobody had had any screaming fits.  Everybody was fine and the babysitter was calm and pleasant.

We had to look at them in their beds to be sure they were still OUR kids.  Were we in some kind of weird parallel universe?

Then one of them got up in the middle of the night and insisted that TLR give her “a hug and a kiss that I can feel.”   As opposed to the ones given her after she’d fallen asleep.  This kid is a stickler for the hugs and kisses.

Yep.  These are our kids.

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