dinosaur skeleton outside the Field Museum in Chicago

“Get your jammies on, please. Bedtime!”

“But mommy, I want to wear this!!!!” 

She was standing in the doorway to her bedroom, hand on her hip, wearing hot pink leggings and a long sleeve Hello Kitty T-shirt.

“Why can’t I sleep in this?”

A thousand retorts flew through my mind, none of them really any good, but at that moment it struck me that this was about control. For both of us.

I want to control you.

The reality is not that pajamas help you sleep better. AND, I had to concede that pajamas would not be not more comfortable than what she was wearing. In truth, I suspect pajamas are actually a plot by the clothing industry to force us to spend more money. Like “girl” toothpaste and “boy” toothpaste…

“Please, mommy?” she pleaded.

So who gets to have control in this situation? Me, because I am the “authority”? Should I enforce the rules because if I let the little things slip, it would pave the way for letting the big things slip? Why IS it a rule, anyway? Should I let it go, choose to pick my battles waiting for something bigger? Is it a better lesson to show we can change stupid rules? 

If I don’t have her change, I can get her down for bed all that much faster…


Screw all of the philosophical mumbo-jumbo. I choose getting to bed. Quickly. Painlessly. 

That is my control.

Maybe I can convince her to wear leggings and Tshirts every day….


82 thoughts on “Nightmares

  1. I, too, am for whatever gets them to bed the quickest. Unless they’re trying to wear their footie, fleece jammies in the summertime. Because while I’m for getting them bed quickly, I’m even more against getting up in the middle of the night because they’re too hot. Kudos to you for giving voice to your thoughts πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Victo! Reminds me of back in the day, “real men don’t wear pajamas.” So I told my boys long ago so they’d sleep in sweats. That way they didn’t have to dress before we left home en route to the child care-giver’s house – and I got to work on time!. You have me on another roll, Victo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would have said pick your battles too and save your bullets for when it really counts.
    I had the opposite challenge from my boys when they were little. They questioned why they had to wear anything at all when they went to bed.
    Why not? Kids are little furnaces anyway.
    Clad only in their little tighty-whiteys they were happy … but when winter came they were more than happy to put pajamas back on πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Smiling here. Definitely, you must choose your battles. Besides, I bet she has sweeter dreams when wearing Hello Kitty. πŸ™‚ I must admit, I didn’t know they were trying to market boy and girl toothpaste. Give me a break…!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I learned there is a time to cede some control to the kids, and usually it makes some sense. Lesson learned – hope you felt good about it. Like letting them sleep in their clothes for the next day so they don’t have to get dressed when they wake up. Wrinkles? Who cares?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Right on Victo! My 3 yr old grandson wears Super Man pj’s to bed.
    However, the question to his mother when she tried to dress him?
    “Momma, will I still be Super Man if I don’t wear my pajamas?
    He wears them almost always, I laugh to myself every time I
    see him.
    He is into another super hero now. Wonder if he wants to be Hulk
    now too? Or if that will totally confuse that sweet child?’

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not a battle lost at all – a battle delayed. When you can do now is talk her into wearing the leggings and the T shirt only on a Friday and her PJs every other day. That way it becomes “special”and not a mundane every day thing – her “Hello Kitty Friday”.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Sounds kinda familiar. My daughter wanted to wear her superman pajamas to the store last week. She didn’t want to change and was close to a tantrum, so I gave in. She’s 2, they look like play clothes, what could it hurt? Some battles just aren’t worth picking. πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t buy pajamas for my girls. My 5-year old sleeps with only her panties on and she refuses to wear anything else. My 9-year old wears t-shirt and shorts to bed. The weather in this part of the world is hot and humid and even with the air-condition on, they still say it’s hot. ~γƒΎ(οΌΎβˆ‡οΌΎ)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We all have this moment, don’t we? πŸ™‚ I will admit that I much prefer giving in on what to wear to bed. I anticipate much bigger battles over what to wear in the daylight coming up soon…


  10. Haha, yeah, that’s not a battle I’d pick.
    More the tween and teen stage of “You’re going to spend the night with people who aren’t your family, please choose appropriate and modest sleepwear.” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. For an entire year when my daughter was three she decided to wear the disney store princess pjs as dresses! Everywhere! We were out in nightgowns! Im thinking maybe disney was assuming this may happen because they did look a lot like dresses. It was one of those battles I didnt fight and sure enough it passed like most phases!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Absolutely perfect Victo. Pick your battles – keep your eye on the ball (what is the behavior being encouraged? Obedience or bedtime?) It is astounding how well this works in business – people like their personal peculiarities and any ability to bend to that will get you the world in return. I could go on for hours about this but suffice it to say it works perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed Victo indeed. To me that paradigm that we use to decide whether to accept or reject authority says some very important things. To me it says that we must be a part of a larger whole that allows us decision making within a certain range and then that we expect decisions to be made for us outside that range. This, to me, means that leadership is a human need that should be on Maslow’s Hierarchy and also that it reinforces the existence of a supreme being.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Entertaining :). I don’t have little ones myself, but I have had plenty of Auntie duty in my time. For me as long as they are sent home breathing, with all their limbs attached and some food in their stomachs I consider it a success. Toothbrushing is optional. As you say, you have to pick your fights πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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