When my girl's personality started really coming out, it became clear pretty quickly that we were in for quite a ride. Every glint of orneriness in her eyes is so familiar to me. Just like looking in a mirror.

So it should come as no surprise when she pulls little pranks or stunts that make it clear that she's already mastered the fine art of, um,


I wish it wasn't true. I wish the only thing she ever learned from me was how to be pure of heart and generous and loving. But let's be honest. She's my kid. In that sense, she's a little bit doomed.

For example, she's gotten really, really good lately at stalling at bedtime. It's funny to me because she doesn't hate bedtime and she's a really good sleeper. If I can JUST get her to the bed. That's the trick. But getting her to the bed ain't easy.

The other night, Sean was out, and I was hanging out with both kids. I got the baby down to sleep temporarily so I could focus on making dinner for, and spending time with my girl.

The following is a conversation that took place over 45 minutes. You read that correctly. I attempted to rationalize with a toddler for 45 minutes.

On the kitchen floor.

[ Parenting fail ]

Me: What do you want for dinner?

I: Ummmm, how...about...grilled cheese and apples!

[ okay, i can do that. whips up a grilled cheese, slices up an apple, and presents it on a mickey plate. BAM! ]

I: I don't want it! I want marshmallows!

Me: You can't have marshmallows, honey. It's dinnertime. Eat your grilled cheese.

I: No! I don't want it! I don't want it!

Me: Eat your dinner and you can have marshmallows afterward, before bed.

I: No! It's not bedtime, I don't want to go to bed!

Me: FOCUS. Eat your dinner and you can have marshmallows.

I. Marshmallows. Marshmallows. MARSHMALLOWS!

Me: Honey, can we have a talk about marshmallows?

I: Sure, Mommy.

Me: Okay, look, marshmallows are dessert. Dessert is something sweet that you eat AFTER dinner. But not after every dinner, only sometimes. And you have to eat your dinner FIRST. Do you understand?

I: Yes Mommy.

Me: Okay, eat your dinner.

I: No Mommy, I want to eat something different for dinner!

Me: FINE. What do you want?

I: [ looks up, scratching her chin ] How... about... DESSERT?!

I'd love to tell you this ends well. It doesn't. She got a new dinner of strawberries and cheese bites, and a dessert of marshmallows and M+Ms.

Damn, I'm a sucker.

Truth is, sometimes I reward her cuteness and  creativity when I should reign her in and just be a parent. I mean, come ON. Go to BED already, right? But I can't do it right ALL the time, lest my secret supermommyhood be discovered. [ groan ]

I don't really mind the occasional battles, to be honest. After all, where else would I get my writing material?


For more fun reading on toddler bedtime stalling, check out this post on

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