Sleepless preschoolers have nothing on this kid

One of my favorite parts of our visit with Kira—and please brace yourself for hysterical laughter from her when I say this—is that her 4-year-old doesn’t sleep. Mind you, Kira has nothing but my most heartfelt sympathy that she has been blessed with a child who has 1,001 excuses for why she cannot POSSIBLY go to sleep just yet, but it’s not MY kid who refuses to sleep, so for me, it’s kind of amazing to observe. Because Sophia is wee and lovely and delicate and she needs some water, no, some milk, and she needs her music, and her dolly, and she didn’t say goodnight to everyone yet, and she needs another hug, and did she say ALL her prayers, and what about the moths, did you get rid of all the moths?, and come to think of it she’s kind of hungry, and that shadow looks like something, and where is the kitty right now and WAIT she didn’t say goodnight to the dog yet, and and and AND AND.

The kid is a pro, is my point. (Also, it should go without saying that Kira and her husband are saints. Somehow Sophia ended up asleep, eventually, every night, and they never seemed particularly frustrated or bleary-eyed. I think one or both of them might be part unicorn.)

Anyway. As impressive as I found this nightly display, it turns out that Sophia was apparently something of an inspiration to MY child. You know, my FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD? Who is FAR TOO GROWN-UP to engage in similar delay tactics? Yeah, that one.

Of course Chickadee doesn’t need to use such tactics to avoid going to bed; when it comes to bedtime, she simply goes up to her room and commences with the not sleeping without bothering us. No, for Chickie, we have hit that point where she is feeling pretty much All Done With Math, and so that means every morning she sits down at the kitchen table and instead of doing math, she basically turns into Sophia avoiding bedtime. Because….

“Oh, I didn’t have breakfast yet. I should eat something.”
“There’s nothing good to eat.”
“I’ll just drink some juice. It’s fine.”
“FIIIINE, I’ll eat something. You don’t have to yell.”
“Oh, hey, did you see this funny picture?”
“What? I’m just checking my email, GOSH.”
“But the dog wanted to snuggle.”
“I’ll be right back. I just have to get something.”
“I was… wait, I forgot to get it.”
“I had to change my clothes, I was too hot.”
“It’s cold in here.”
“I had to go get the fan.”
“Can I have my iPod back? I’M WORKING, GEEZ, I was just ASKING.”
“Maaaary had a little laaaaaamb… well, if I had my iPod, I wouldn’t have to sing.”
“I need a snack.”
“What? The dog LOVES Cheez-Its!”
“You’re right, the floor in here is gross. Someone should mop it.”
“Well I’m busy doing math right now, sooo….”
“What are you making? Yes, I see you’re making beans, but what FOR?”
“Oh, I love those muffins! Can I help?”
“I meant after I was done with my math.”
“Help, my nose is cutting off the circulation in my toe!”
“I was just checking to make sure you could still hear, gosh.”
“Is it lunch time? I think it’s lunch time.”
“Yayyyyyy, it’s quesadilla day! Wait, the crock pot is in my way. Where do I put the griddle?”
“Oh my gosh, you’re the greatest, you bought more tortillas! Thank you! YAYYYY QUESADILLA DAY!”
“Uh, no, I don’t want to show you what I’ve gotten done this morning. It’s, uh, private. Private math, yeah.”
“Licorice, I am not going to give you my quesadillas. Stop looking at me like that.”
“Wait, why is your apostrophe backwards? On your blog.”
“I wasn’t READING it, I was just LOOKING, and the apostrophe is backwards.”
“But it’s REALLY BOTHERING ME. Geez. Fine.”
“Sometimes we use apostrophes in math and it means intersection. YAY, MATH!”
“I’m not IN your office. I’m OUTSIDE your office. SEE?”
“What? I can’t talk right now, I am busy MATHING.”
“This project is hilarious. Apparently I have a fairy godmother. Who wants to send me to college.”
“I’m WORKING, I’m looking for clipart!”
“It’s all under control, yo. I got this.”
“Nah, I don’t need to take a shower. I smell fabulous.”
“Wait, where are you going? I’M LONELY, DON’T GO!”

I’m about to ship her back to Kira, because the eyelid twitch I’ve developed is really distracting.


  1. deva

    The Ermahgerd had me rolling I was laughing so hard.

    I’m 27 and I still use those tactics. Except now it’s like “huh. we’re out of towels. and there is popcorn and I haven’t watched the new Miyazaki movie that I’ve seen 10000 times..”

    and then the next day: “why am I so tired, I just did some laundry?”

  2. Kira

    Once? Sophia told me I couldn’t look at the chores she had TOTALLY FINISHED, YES SHE DID. Because they were too fresh. For looking at.

    • Mir

      I remember that. And I so want to trade, but then I remember how much I like to SLEEP. This is like Sophie’s Choice.

  3. Eileen

    It’s my fault. She obviously has engaged in some sort of alien mind meld with my son. Sorry.

  4. Brenda

    I am now going crazy at the thought of a backwards apostrophe. I am also amazing at procrastinating cleaning my apartment. Which is why when the whim to do the dishes strikes, I literally stop whatever I am doing (put down the book, pause the DVD, etc.) and go wash them RIGHT NOW.

  5. Chickadee

    I don’t know what my mother is talking about. I am totally doing math RIGHT NOW. I would never procrastinate! What? Reading a blog? Noooooo, I’m not reading a blog. You’re so silly.

    • Lori N

      You win.

    • bryan

      Don’t forget the Saga of the Dropped Pencil. A dropped pencil is worth about 20 minutes of angst. (Because it will rooooool all the way over there, and then probably need to be sharpened. . .)

      My daughter could cram an hour long math lesson into 5 hours when we were homeschooling. You sound equally talented.

    • Lily

      You are correct, Chickadee: you are not READING a blog, you are WRITING on one. Totally different. You’re welcome.

  6. Stacy

    My four year old doesn’t sleep either. But I am NOT part unicorn and it drives me crazy (she also wakes up 2 to 3 times a night). Maybe Chickie is just trying to see if she would like a job in PR?

  7. CuriousCat


    I will not sleep until I know.

    p.s. I am the Queen of Procrastinators (you may rise). I fully expect to still be procrastinating right up to my death. I’ll be drifting away and then, suddenly, “Wait! The new season of Walking Dead starts Sunday! I HAVE to watch that!” or “Hold on! Did I lock my front door when I left?” or “You know what would taste good RIGHT NOW? A kit-kat bar! Nom!” I fear the plug will be pulled more out of frustration than actual empathy.

    • Mir

      First line of this post; because there’s a hyperlink coded in there, it sees the bracket and gets confused about which way the apostrophe should face, I guess.

      • CuriousCat

        oh. that one.

        thanks, I can sleep now! ;-)

        • Heather

          Me too ;)

      • Pamela L

        Chickie’s good – I never (& would have never) seen that ~

      • LilyfromGermany

        It totally looks weird. Your daughter has eagle eyes. A procrastinating eagle`s eyes.

  8. addy

    well, we all have our very own special talents now don’t we?

  9. Nance

    We have the same child. Truly. I find that a bit of vanilla vodka splashed in my diet coke helps with the eye twitch.

  10. Arnebya

    Private math. All the math past basic math should be privately held. In private. Away from me. I don’t hate it, I just…my thoughts on math are private.

  11. Janet

    Isn’t there a book “Bedtime for Frances?” Maybe Lillian Hoban will write a sequel (if she’s still living?!?) called “Mathtime for Frances!”

  12. Sally

    I cannot stop laughing.

    Been there, a long time ago! :)

  13. Amanda

    I find the teen hilarious as the mom of a younger kid who doesn’t sleep and hasn’t slept since he was born. That’s 6 1/2 years of sleep deprivation in case anyone else is keeping track No? Just me? My 12yo tried such tactics with homeschooling this year, and I was having none of it. His younger brother has rubbed the spot raw where my patience for wasting time would be.

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