17 Things I Have Literally Done To Make A Child Go To Sleep
Thanks to a combination of factors, including the birds, the bees, and my own exceptional fertility, I am now in a position where I need to get children to go to sleep. Sometimes this is easy and straightforward. Sometimes it's not. Sometimes -- the majority of the time, in truth -- it is completely impossible.
Here is how I manage the impossible.
Read A Book
Simple enough, right? Just read Construction Vehicles or The Dog In The Fog or Eight Little Idiots and off they go to sleep. Easy.
Read Eight Books
Ok, so they want more. Fine. Let's read those three books, and also Little Animals and I Love Trucks and Cheery Corey Finds A Body and The Possum Who Was An Asshole and Baby's First Faulkner.
There. That's more than reasonable. They will respect and understand that and go immediately to sleep.
Read A Book Eight Times
Ok, fine. We'll read I Love Trucks seven more times. There. Happy? No? I don't care. Go to sleep.
Yeah. Yeah. I guess.
The thing is I've got a not-great singing voice and repertoire of like two songs. But what the hell.
Thank you. Yes I know I do the LMNOP part with a flourish. You have to like your work. I'm glad you appreciated it.
Now go to sleep.
Sing The Same Song Eight Times
Can you harmonize with yourself, or is that just me going insane? "The Alphabet Song," and by extension, the alphabet, the written form, and the entirety of civilization are starting to lose all meaning to me.
Never Stop Singing
Ok, let's try ... "Old McDonald's Farm." Endless verses there. Anything which makes a noise, really. This farm can have a cow, and a horse, and a dog, and a whale, and a truck, and a pirate, and a fax machine, and a, uh, two-stroke motorcycle, and a broken saxophone, and a ...
Please go to sleep.
Sleep On The Floor Near Their Bed
So this isn't at the top of the list for a reason. But this is doable and to get some sleep, any sleep, I have done it. Getting horizontal, that's all sleep really needs. Just lie down and heap some of the larger stuffed animals around me for warmth and ... ahhh.
It's working! They're sleeping!
I'll just lie here another minute.
Now to slowly extract myself from this uncomfortable fucking floor.
And they're up.
Strap Them To Me And Walk Around The House
Ok. This worked when they were a baby. I'll just use one of these many devices for strapping children to me and strap a child to me, and I'll walk around the house and show them that the kitchen is asleep and the living room is asleep and that, in fact, every room in the house is asleep, and also hates them and wants them to sleep.
That should be fun.
Strap Them To Me And Dance Around The House
Ok, so that was less fun than I'd hoped.
Do I dare dance? I can see how that would work in theory. The rhythm is going to get you and everything. The main problem is that I haven't been cool in like a decade now, and I wasn't even that cool then, to be honest, so I'm not sure if my dancing is really going to cut it.
But I've tried everything else. And its not like this fool child will be able to recognize sub-par krumping.
-sub-par krumping around the house-
Just Ignore Them
So this will sound bad to some of you non-parents out there, and also to you really judgey parents out there, but this isn't insane. Learning to fall asleep on your own is a skill; we aren't born knowing how to do that. Letting a child cry and calm down on their own will teach them a valuable skill. So this isn't ignoring them -- which I do all day anyways -- this is teaching. I'm a good parent.
I'm the worst parent ever and a monster.
Put Them In The Car And Drive, Just Anywhere
Ok, this is a cop out. This is something I swore I'd never do, but someone in this house is going to get murdered if people don't get some sleep around here and I'm worried it might not be me.
So we'll just get in the car and drive. Anywhere.
Put Them In The Car And Drive, But Come Home Again Eventually
Actually, I'll get in big trouble if I don't bring this kid home eventually, so lets revise that itinerary.
Put Them In The Car, Throw It In Drive, Walk Away
Actually ... this may be the sleep deprivation talking, but this sounds pretty feasible. How fast can a car move in drive, really?
Oh pretty quickly it seems. I guess the driveway has a slope.
And a ditch.
Sleep In A Quickly Filling Ditch Near Their Bed
Ok, so the kid's in more of a car seat then a bed, but yeah, I guess I deserve this. I made my ditch, now I'll lie in it.
Ok, so long as it's just me and you, the readers of a moderately popular list-based website, yeah, drugs. The lad always sleeps great when he's sick after getting dosed up with children's Tylenol or whatever. The boy's clearly got a pretty bad case of ... sleeping annoyance syndrome. So what's really preventing me from doing that again now?
Morals, sure. A basic understanding of medicine and the precautionary principle. I'll get in trouble, again.
Well maybe I'll just take the damned drugs then.
-more sub-par krumping around the house-
Let The Kid In My Bed
Fine. Fuck it. FUCK IT. I know this is bad. I know this is the nuclear option, the last resort which will spread radioactive behavioral patterns that won't dissipate for hundreds of years.
I don't care.
-sub-par krumps them into my bed-
HOW ARE YOU NOT ASLEEP WHAT MAGIC IS THIS HAVE YOU ANGERED A DRUID OR SOMETHING DO I NEED TO PUT A RING OF SALT AROUND THE BED I AM SERIOUSLY CONCERNED HERE
I wonder. I just wonder. This might be crazy enough to work.
Oh. It worked.
Probably not a good look that I've never tried that before.
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and enchanting singer. As the author of the amazing novels, Freeze/Thaw and Severance he thinks you should definitely go buy both of those now. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.
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