Recent studies suggest that it’s easier to teach a dog to beat box than it is to get a 3-year-old to go to sleep, but the truth is, it’s actually very simple. Just follow these 43 simple steps and little Jimmy or Jenny or Sunshine or Chasen or whatever “unique” name you gave your kid will be frolicking through the land of nod in no time at all.
1) Tell your child that it is bedtime.
2) Tell your child that it is bedtime again.
3) Turn off the television and tell your child that it is bedtime.
4) Pick up your child and carry him upstairs. (His arms will swing wildly during this stage. If you get punched in the face fewer than 13 times, consider this a victory.)
5) Set your child down in the bathroom.
6) Chase him back down the stairs and carry him back to the bathroom.
7) Retrieve child from downstairs once more (he juked you like a professional wide receiver). This time shut the bathroom door and block his exit.
8) Tell your child to use the toilet, as this is the last chance he’ll get before the morning.
9) Your child will assure you that he does not want or need to use the toilet.
10) Tell him to brush his teeth.
11) Retrieve child’s toothbrush from the bath.
12) To get your child to open his mouth, ask him a question to which the answer is “daddy”. When he makes the “Ahh” sound, jam that toothbrush in there and hang on as long as you can (which is usually until you get bitten or kicked in the groin.)
13) Give your child one last chance to use the toilet before bed. Your child will again assure you that he does not need to go.
14) Carry him to the bedroom.
15) Return to the bathroom as your child now wishes to use the toilet.
16) Tell your child that he has exactly three minutes to use the toilet.
17) After forty minutes, help your child wash his hands.
18) Ask your child if he can be trusted to walk to the bedroom nicely. He will say yes.
19) Chase your child downstairs where he has somehow already managed to turn the television back on and has a face full of chocolate chip cookies.
20) Carry your child upstairs again. Your face will be so beaten by swinging arms that you will get your 151st concussion.
21) Set your child down in his bedroom and tell him to choose a book.
22) Tell him to hurry up and decide which book to read.
23) Tell him that he is taking too long so you will pick a book.
24) Pick a book.
25) The book you have chosen is wrong.
26) Wait a further 15 minutes while he calms down from the tantrum and pick a suitable book.
27) Begin reading the book with him. Your child will ask for a drink. Tell him that he can’t have a drink as he’s already brushed his teeth.
28) Again, tell him that he cannot have a drink.
29) Continue reading the book while your child has a drink.
30) Say goodnight.
31) Your child will be now bouncing on the bed. Tell him not to do that.
32) Leave the room and return 15 seconds later to retrieve him from the top of his wardrobe where he has bounced to.
33) Say goodnight once more and that you will see him in the morning.
34) Two hours later, tell him that it is very late and you yourself will be going to bed soon.
35) One hour later, tell him that you are now going to bed, and it is very, very late.
36) Your child will now ask if he can sleep in your bed. Tell him that he must sleep in his own bed.
37) 30 minutes later, repeat that he is to sleep in his own bed and this is final.
38) Your child is now in your bed.
39) Sleep as far away from your child to avoid being elbowed in the face repeatedly throughout the night as you are already concussed.
40) Sleep even closer to the edge of the bed as your child’s arms are now windmilling so wildly that you fear for your life.
41) Just give up and sleep on the floor.
42) SUCCESS! Your child is now asleep!
43) Just as you start to doze off, your alarm goes off. It is 6am and time to get ready for work.
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