It's so simple to be wise.  Just think of something stupid to say, and then don't say it.     Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Five-Minute Bedtime Challenge

The scientific world has yet to prove what all parents have long ago accepted as fact:  the evening hours between six and eight o'clock, plus-minus, are indeed the most long and exhausting two hours of the day.  

Why is this?  Could it be that light-speed transition from never-ending workday to carpool to neighborhood grocery stop to home?  Or perhaps it's the time-swallowing vortex, eldest-daughter-instigated, last-minute pancake-fest, evidence of which is clearly visible on every horizontal surface from kitchen to dining table, and the occasional vertical surface between. In any event, we have every reason to believe that the Fear of Limited Energy Theorem is at work.

In steps the Five-Minute Bedtime Challenge, only recently (30 minutes ago) devised and formulated by Alternative Reality SuperMom,* and now in Phase-I trials in participating households.**  

Parameters are as follows:  
1.  Gather all household children in one place, preferably in close proximity to their sleeping quarters.   

2.  Announce at the top of your lungs, In one minute from now, the [Your Family Name Here] Family is taking on the Five-Minute Bedtime Challenge!

3.  Outline the Six Challenge Requirements:   Clothes in laundry hamper, 30 seconds.  Pajamas on, 60 seconds.  Bathroom break, 30 seconds. Teeth brushed, 90 seconds. School clothes out, 60 seconds.  In bed and lights out, 30 seconds.

4.  Note the current time and shout, Ready, set, GO!

5.  Option A:  MC the entire event in a loud, fast-paced, motivational sports announcer voice.  Option B:  In a fast-paced auctioneer's voice, alternate words of encouragement with a ten-second incremental countdown.

6.  Call Time's up! and reward your team by jump around like a crazy maniac while waving your hands in the air and cheering their accomplishment with all the genuine enthusiasm you can muster (for this part you might need to call in Alternative Reality SuperParent).

7.  With your last remaining kcal's of energy, run to your computer and let me know how it went.

Ready, set.....

Keep the balance,

*  Alternative Reality SuperMom is the entity that, to the benefit of all concerned, took over Regular Mom's body just when the latter was on the verge of collapse.  A SuperDad version is, of course, also available.

**  If you would like your household to be considered for participation in Phase II trials, please submit your typed applications, in triplicate, to the Comments section.


Leora said...

Hmmm. You wanna come over here and try it one night? Only problem is we've got only one child who needs to go to bed at an early hour. The other two (teen and almost teen) need to be ignored while they finish their homework late at night. So our little one sees everyone else going strong, and she wants to join the party, too. Sigh. I often fall asleep before her, sometimes while sitting on her bed.

A Living Nadneyda said...

Ahh, that would be the Modified Bedtime Challenge, which factors in both age and sleeping arrangements. We also have a fairly reasonable age discrepancy, but it seems we've long given up trying to stagger the bedtimes. It wouldn't help much anyway - for now at least, they're all together in the same bedroom.

As for coming over, I wouldn't mind. It's always easier to deal with someone else's children (or dirty dishes). Much less emotional baggage.

queeniesmom said...

ALN - Thank you for a very amusing take on the evening olympiad. Unfortunately, I usually loose as the "dynamic duo" have perfected their stall tactics and are gold medalists in this event.
Leora, like you I have an almost teen, each night we do the "when do you plan on going to bed" dance? I should start awarding creativity points for the answers. Is it vacation yet?!

A Living Nadneyda said...

QM -- Thanks for sharing! Teens are a different story, that's for sure. But like everything else (eating habits, exercise, homework), bedtime can be yet another opportunity to help them internalize some good habits and proper boundaries. I haven't got a clue how.... I'll get back to in a couple of years.

That Guy I Married warned me that the B.C. would only work once.... then imp #2 shocked me this evening by requesting that we do it again.

(For the record, I give out extra time for toothbrushing. I don't want them to get into the habit of rush-brushing).

rickismom said...

Great! Maybe when Ricki's home alone I would try it (otherwise I have teen boys up to midnight plus), but I don't think she's ever participated in a "challenge".

My only challenge to your challenge is all five or six kids of a large family trying to get into the same toilet in the same 30 seconds: