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Being outsmarted by a four year old is not a good way to end the week.

Little Miss is not taking the naps she desperately needs — she’s overtired, and I can tell by looking at her eyes and watching her behavior — because my mom has told her she doesn’t need to sleep anymore, and my mom watches here three to four days a week when I’m working.

Oh, she’ll go upstairs when I tell her, but then she gets up every ten minutes to go potty. And Little Miss being Little Miss, she can always squeeze out a few drops. It’s just enough to keep her from falling asleep, and she knows it.

Today, she was going through her usual routine when I explained that if she got out of bed one more time, she was going to lose an animal (our typical punishment). She said she understood, and I went back downstairs to do some more work.

Five minutes later, I heard her in the bathroom. I quietly snuck up the stairs. As I peeked around the doorway, I could see her on the potty.

May I ask what you’re doing out of your bed?

I’m going potty again. I already put an animal in your room.

Wait, what?

I put an animal in your room before I came in here.

I sighed and walked into my bedroom, not seeing a new animal sitting amongst my dresser menagerie.

It’s the Bugs Bunny, Mommy!

Oh. Yeah. I see it. *sigh* Yeah, this inducement to stay in her bed totally didn’t work. And tomorrow she’s with my parents who don’t believe children need sleep (ever) because I have a Northwestern game. Here’s hoping she naps on Sunday. And runs out of “expendable” animals soon!



  • Tara R.

    She is quick! And only four?

  • Elizabeth

    Give her an incentive to STAY in bed. Put four quarters on her dresser. And each time she has to go potty, she can go – but she has to pay you a quarter each time. And she gets to keep the money she doesn't spent. She can't get up after the four are spent, even if that means closing her door and putting a child lock on the inside of the door (just for nap, I promise!). And if she threatens to wet the bed, then let her (after you have protected it with a plastic sheet of some kind).

    Just some ideas for you… 🙂

  • A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6)

    Do we have the same 4 year old? My little mister really still needs a nap but he doesn't want to take one. And so he's done. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

    As much as I love him, I so need those precious quiet moments.

  • A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6)

    Do we have the same 4 year old? My little mister really still needs a nap but he doesn't want to take one. And so he's done. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

    As much as I love him, I so need those precious quiet moments.

  • WeaselMomma

    So mice that your parents are willing to cooperate with you on this one. Maybe setting her bedtime a little earlier will help her to get the sleep she needs.

  • Ryan Ashley Scott

    Oh my. It stinks when they start making those tough decisions that interfere with our brilliant parenting plans.

  • Karen

    It sounds like a new punishment is in order. We have problems with the teenager not going to bed on time. For every minute she's up past her bedtime, that's how much earlier she goes to bed the next night. Maybe extending naptime is an option? Or 10 minutes earlier in bed at night for every trip to the potty?

  • Shelly Overlook

    Oh crap. One of those you don't know whether to bang your head against the wall or laugh moments?

  • H F W

    This happens about once a day in my house … with a two year old! At least you've been outsmarted by someone two years older. lol. Here's to hoping that she does, indeed, run out of expendable animals.

  • Clueless_Mama

    I hate when they start to outsmart us! How funny is she though:)

  • MaBunny

    LOL, yup she got you there Michelle ! Isn't it fun???

  • Angie's Spot

    Hilarious! That sounds just like something my younger daughter would do. She's given up naps at home, but it never fails that she waits until time to pick up big sis at school and then she sleeps in the car on the way there. And wakes up madder than a wet hen when I have to get her up after 10 minutes to walk to the classroom to get big sis. Sigh.

  • anymommy

    That is hilarious. I already put it in your room. It's hard to stay a step ahead of them. May she get some sleep.

  • Analisa

    She is a thinker. Sometimes with thinkers reasoning works better than punishment. Tell her how much better she will be able to do something with a little nap.
    Remind her of how cranky she gets. Give her a timer that goes off after the set time. She is at that funny age when some kids get a little cranky but just don't nap anymore. A reward for her quite time with no extra potty trips.

    She does sound like a sweetheart

  • Unknown Mami

    I'm so sorry about your parents not supporting her napping. My daughter is 13 months and my mother already tells me she doesn't have to nap. Are you kidding me? She turns into a grouchy mess if she doesn't sleep.

  • septembermom

    She's a smart one for sure! My daughter seems to be one step ahead of me when we are in negotiation mode:)

  • Michelle

    Tara – Ummm yeah. I'm pretty sure I'm in deep trouble.

    Elizabeth – Keeping the animals and earning them and other treats IS her incentive. Money at this point isn't an incentive for her unfortunately.

    A Musing Mom – I need those moments, too. And unfortunately, she needs the nap but my mom is destroying it. *sigh*

    WeaselMomma – Uhhh yeah. They tend to do that on many items “but we're the grandparents” which doesn't fly when you're with them 4-5 days a week. And she already goes to bed between 6 and 6:30. we can't go much earlier.

    RAS – Uhhh yeah. I do have brilliant plans 🙂 And she interferes with them.

    Karen – I can't extend naptime, as I'm pm carpool on the days I'm home, so I need to get her up at 3 to pick up Mister Man.

    Shelly – Pretty much. I always wanted smart kids. I just wanted them on my terms!

    Hyacynth – Ohhhh I feel for you. But just think about how smart YOUR toddler is.

    Clueless_Mama – Uhhh she thinks she's funnier than she is. Unfortunately.

    MaBunny – Oh yeah. Fun was the first word that came to my mind….

    Angie – Oooo that's almost worse. She's NEVER slept in the car (not even as an infant or on long car trips) so we don't get that at least.

    Stacey – She told me tonight that she's going to sleep in tomorrow and take a SUPER good nap, Mommy. We'll see.

    Analisa – Yeah… I've tried that, too. Reasoning doesn't work with her. For her, clear consequences and rewards are best. Mister Man on the other hand is the rationale guy!

    Unknown Mami – Me, too. It's yet another reason I want to quit my job to stay home with the wee ones.

    Kelly – Yeah, that's a mode I'm trying to stay out of as best I can. Negotiations are never good 🙂

  • bettyl

    Sounds like a different consequence is in order…something nearer and dearer. Moving bedtime up works wonderfully for Otterboy. Missy loses her music. Those work fine for now.

  • Michelle

    betty – Her animals are generally as near and dear as you get for her (and back to normal now in terms of her priorities). It was a weird fluke, but … SO her.

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