May 222012

I let Craig handle last night’s round of “Whack-a- Mole” (bedtime) and settled into the couch at 7:45. It’s like my victory lap –  that couch settling.

 Day is done, gone the son, gone the girls and the the fights and the whiiiiines. All is calm- Bravo ooooon- sleep is nigh….

One of the myriad problems with this parenting gig is that they save the hardest part for last. BEDTIME. Bedtime should be in the morning – when we’re fresh and kind and sweet –  and decent parenting still seems like a very real possibility. But no, the hardest parts – dinner and baths and bedtime – arrive at the end of the day- when we have nothing left. When the truth is, we are counting the minutes. Counting the moments until no one is the boss of us anymore. Until we can sink into that couch, book, internet, or glass of wine – whatever our victory lap includes.

It doesn’t help that in our mommy minds, we have this idea that bedtime is supposed to be the most peaceful, loving time of day. That we are supposed to send our lovies off to dream land with songs, stories, soft, sweet voices and strokes of their cherubic heads. Sometimes bedtime happens this way for us. Not often.

Each of our kids gets a story at bedtime. They never pick a good one, they pick the longest one.

And the little one wants to “help read” her book. So, let’s see. It takes her about six minutes to sound out each word, and so if the book is one hundred words, well, I don’t specialize in math but I am telling you that I am stuck in that room FOREVER. It feels like I will be reading that book with Amma until I die. And I know I’m supposed to be SUPPORTING her reading. I mean it’s good – this is good stuff, this wanting to read. I was a reading teacher, I know this is GOOD stuff about which I am supposed to be EXCITED. But for me, exhaustion trumps excitement every single time. And I can’t help but notice that the ONLY TIME SHE CARES THIS MUCH ABOUT READING IT HERSELF IS AT BEDTIME. When she can hold me hostage and stay up six minutes later with every sounded-out-word.  And so while I’m supposed to be thinking sweet thoughts, all I can think is: OH MY GOD. I AM GOING TO DIE. JUST JUMP RIGHT OUT OF MY SKIN. YOU SUCK AT READING. YOU SUCK YOU SUCK YOU SUCK. PLEASE GOD. PLEASE MAKE THIS BOOK..just..just …DISAPPEAR so I can take my victory lap. I DESERVE MY VICTORY LAP!

But No. Nope. No help from above. So it goes on. And on.  “S….o…….soooooooooo  t-h- e….tuuuuu—-huuuuuu—-eeeeeeeeee?” says Amma. I am held hostage for forty five minutes. When she is finally done. I decide that after that debacle there is NO WAY that the Universe also expects me to sing the “song” that is also part of her “bedtime routine.” I say goodnight and pray she’ll forget.

But they never forget. They PRETEND to forget ONLY so that they have another excuse to pop out of their rooms and remind you of what you forgot.

So three minutes later, when I think I’m in the clear, here comes my littlest mole. “You forgot my song,” she says. And I stare at her for a long second and admit to myself two things.

1. She is unbelievably cute and precious and one day I will miss these visits, especially when she starts  sneaking out of her room to party with her friends instead of to find me to sing to her.

2. Doesn’t matter. I’m going to lose it.

And so I sing her song. But I sing it like an insane person. Eyes wide, teeth clenched, just a little too loud. No sweetness. Like a robot. “You. Are. My. Sun. SHINE. My. Only. Sun. SHINE. I sing it like there are implied curse words between every lyric.

She gets it. She finally goes to sleep. They know when mommy’s done. It’s not pretty, but it’s effective. And often that’s the best I can do.

So last night as I waited for Craig to whack the last mole –  I half listened to the bedroom doors re-open and the typical mole-y excuses –  “I can’t sleep because my elbow hurts!” “I need ICE COLD water, not reg-a-lar water” “My closet doors are open.” There’s an elephant shadow on my window.”  Whack- Whack-Whack- Whack.  Nothing new. The moles are not too creative tonight, I thought .  But then – I hear a door open and one appears to say to poor Craig- mallet in hand- sitting against the wall in the hallway – “I can’t sleep because my finger smells because I keep scratching my bottom.”

Hmm. Not bad, I thought, and I giggled, because it’s funny when it’s not your turn. Craig says, “Okay. Go wash your hand.” I hear the water run, hallway waddling, child returns to her room. Two minutes later, door re-opens, child-mole re-appears. “My finger still….” “GO WASH YOUR HAND AGAIN,” Craig says with that very even, controlled tone that indicates the Whack -a-Mole machine is about to BUST. Water starts, child- mole slowly creeps back to her room. A minute later, door re-opens. Mole child says, “My finger still…THEN STOP SCRATCHING YOUR BUTT. AND STOP SMELLING YOUR FINGER! OR PUT IT UNDER YOUR PILLOW. HOLD YOUR BREATH. WHATEVER IT TAKES. JUST GO. TO. SLEEP!

Mole child gets it. She is out of quarters. Daddy’s broke. Machine is done for the day.

No more doors open.

Craig comes downstairs.

He joins me with tea and Mad Men for our victory lap. He’s asleep within ten minutes.




Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  402 Responses to “Whack-A- Mole”

  1. G
    I’m in my victory lap now with an ice pack (really a bag of frozen peas) on my nose. My roly ,poly, big baby moley likes to head butt his mamma before literally falling like a ton of bricks to sleep. While sister karaoke moly sings her self silly. I’m beat… Ice cream and sweat pants for me…how will I manage to keep the frozen bag of peas on my nose??

  2. Asolutely *laugh out loud* hilarious….and Love!

  3. I just spent almost a half an hour reading “just one more” book to my 3 and a half year old son. He looks at me like a sweet fluffy puppy that is caught in a fence and isn’t really that stuck but stuck enough that I can’t walk by so I help him and then I have to snuggle him. But then he’s somehow also a little devil holding onto me with little red claws that won’t let go. He’s both. It’s confusing.

    Anyway, I am sure you know about this – but this is a great book that makes all parents feel better. And was written by very smart and funny guy I went to high school with.This link is the Samuel L Jackson reading of it. It’s too good. It also is, clearly full of the f word, so take that as it may be. Sometimes you just need it.

    “Go the F**K to Sleep” By Adam Mansbach

    Thanks for this. It was the perfect end to my very very long night.


  4. My mom used to say to everything, “Get some sleep. It will be better in the morning.” We used to joke that she thought that sleep would cure broken bones. Had to become a mom to realize that she didn’t think anything of the sort, just knew she’d be better able to deal with WHATEVER on a night’s sleep. Sweet dreams, all!

  5. You are hilarious!!! I needed to laugh like this tonight.

  6. I laughed out loud at this entire article, and my kids are 20,22, and 24. There is a reason even people who don’t swear laugh at the book “Go the f—- to sleep.” And she didn’t even touch on the topic of crazy reasons kids awaken their parents in the middle of the night.

  7. That was so hilarious!!!!!!! The worst part for me is that even though that is our bedtime to a tee…….they wake at the crack of dawn and it begins again…..trying to keep one quiet so as not to wake the other 2 at 5:30 AM!!!!!!! So funny!!!!
    Melatonin….1 mg, of the cherry flavored chewable (not slow release) works wonders…

  8. I have just died! Can’t…stop…laughing. Must go to the bathroom before I wet myself.

  9. hahahahahahahaha. Seriously cannot stop laughing. You made my night with this.

  10. This had me dying laughing!! My daughter is introducing me to the whole 2-3 hours bedtime process. Not fun!
    Anyway, thanks! This made my day!

  11. This made me snort-laugh! oh god I think I woke my son up from his nap….

  12. […] you’re at your computer, I would recommend reading this blog post for a good laugh about parenting and bed time. It was brought to my attention by Bleubird Blog, […]

  13. Just hilarious and true and brilliant!


    : )
    Thanks for putting a smile on my face!

  15. this is by far the funniest thing i have read!

  16. this is quite possibly the funniest thing i have read in a looooong time. (and it isn’t just because i don’t get to read “grown up” books anymore.) I was relating on every level! parenting is bliss:)

  17. i am laughing out loud and will send this to many friends! thank you for your honest post…and making me feel normal!

  18. nice post! :)Irene Wibowo

  19. Literally the best post I’ve read about parenting. THANK GOD SOMEONE TALKS REAL TALK. This was wonderful, and I’m bookmarking it.

  20. That is so funny and sounds exactly like my house. I always have to fight my daughter to do her reading for school…but whenever bedtime rolls around she magically wants to read a whole book solo. Found your blog through the bleubird blog. :) Have a happy weekend!

  21. Oh my goodness this made me laugh quite a bit on the inside because I know exactly how this goes. At the moment we only have one, but boy oh boy does he use every excuse in the book to get out of bed (or get us to come into his room).
    He just turned 7 and is the same way about reading, he ONLY wants to do the reading when it’s bedtime. And then, well then he acts like he doesn’t know what these words are on the page. The same words he’s read a million times. He’s an excellent reader, until it’s bedtime.
    Then once we’re out the door “Moooooooom, my leg itches”. ( I haven’t gotten the “my finger smells” thank goodness, I would die laughing!)
    I was certain it was just mine, but am so glad to see that it is not!

  22. […] I found this blog called Momastery, written by Glennon Melton.  I was wooed in by her post about putting her kids to bed.  Had me in stitches and I saw it re-posted all over Facebook.   And then I read her post […]

  23. FYI, your website doesn’t seem suitable in Opera.

  24. […] la vista, ya little babies.” If you’ve never read The Momastery’s post called Whack–Mole on this very topic, it’s a […]

  25. @ Amy… no offense, but you really need to lighten up and get a sense of humor. All kids test their parents no matter what and always will.

  26. A daughter who slept in her parents bed it sound like a little bizarre.
    You can beat the moles, because they are harmful.
    In your garden they eat your roots of your plants, flowers, vegetables and so on.
    It seems like a little funny. Unfortunedly you hit some.
    Moles in the bed in the afternoon? -hello!?
    Propably the smell of a mole is horrible.
    The main thing is-what a drag!-uhh!
    Best regards,

  27. I’m very new to your site, found you through Kelle Hampton. And just wanted to say that I already freaking love you. I was CRACKING up (which I hardly ever do while reading anything) reading about your inner thoughts while your daughter sounds out words (and relieved to hear I’m not the only one). You are just so real and honest and relatable, and it’s so awesome and refreshing. Keep on keepin’ on girlfriend.

  28. Freakin’ hilarious!! Just finished my game of whack-a-mole tonight (and for the 4th night in a row since hubby is working nights). I thought we were the only family who used this terminology…guess not! Good luck.

  29. Oh my gosh! This is the funniest thing I have ever read! I seriously had tears I was laughing so hard. LOVED the tie to the whack-a-mole game! Thanks for sharing!

  30. As a grandmother I well remember those days and you are a great writer!! The analogy is terrific and I laughed through the entire blog. Thanks for the memories and a great laugh. Keep writing!!

  31. Haaaaaaahahahahahaaaaaaahahaha. My daughter just used the same “my finger stinks” excuse tonight! I thought I was the only one who had ever heard that excuse!

  32. I am LoL crying right now. Priceless and oh so true.

  33. Kids never change! Mine are over it now. They are in their 50’s! Just remember there is always payback because their kids did it and now their grand kids are doing it to their parents. What goes around comes around. Amazing how things never change.

  34. I am laughing so hard right now!

  35. So true and my daughter is 10!! My eldest daughter slept in my bed ’til she was 14:(

  36. […] recently read this post by Glennon over at Momestary and was nearly rolling on the floor at her description of bedtime.  (If you haven’t read it, […]

  37. […] to. Instead, my evening of freedom had arrived. Or, as Glennon Melton puts it, it was time for the Victory Lap to cap off the day: that well deserved couch-sit we get to take once the little ones are safely […]

  38. Priceless!

  39. This is the entire reason that I lay down with my kids. I don’t want to bolt from them. I want to savor each moment. Time is so precious. They are now 8 and 6 and will be 18 and 16 in 20 minutes. I hope that the here parents can find time to care for themselves so that their children can feel loved and wanted at bedtime and throughout the day.

  40. This is a mirror image of what goes on every night in my house. Our house is railroad style..which means we have to go through the baby’s room to get to my 5 year old’s room….dad and i put the kids down at the same time with the idea that the baby will fall asleep while i’m ready Livy stories and snuggling. I get trapped in that room forever!!! Stories, sounding out, back scratching, jammie changes, tossing, turning, and finally my 5 year old is asleep….but i can’t leave b/c my sweet baby Violet is still fussing her face off in the next room…and god forbid i should walk through it, she will stand up and talk to me and wake up Livy and the whole game would start over!!! So i lay down in Livy’s bed and wait for silence…eventually i fall asleep there and when their dad comes to wake me i’m too sleepy to do anything but go right to sleep…thus missing my victory lap often.
    Thank you so much for this hilarious post. It is funny and sooo true. I wish more mother’s would be honest about how it really feels to be a parent. Sometimes i feel so guilty for feeling uninterested or bored when my daughter is sounding out her tenth word…or when i just want to tell the baby to shut the #@&* up when she’s whining in her crib. It’s nice to remember that other mother’s feel this way too, and that i’m not alone on this crazy, joyful, frustrating, amazing journey known as parenthood.

  41. Classic and SO True!

  42. Wow that is so true and so funny. My kids get the stinky fingers and usually I find out about it while holding their hand (which is obligatory) while singing their song. Eww… smells just awful and I have to go wash my hands too. Thanks for this laugh! It’s so well written.

  43. good Lord girl, this is the best friggin blog post I have ever read (or could have written myself franky). You are a Queen.

  44. Thank you!!!
    My husband and I both thank you, we really needed this!

  45. Thanks for a great laugh! Everything truly is harder at night. No doubt ;). My girls are only 3 and 1, so I know our nights like this have only just begun. But, I am already amazed at the creativity of our 3 year’s reasons to be out of bed. LOL! I see a couple people mentioned A. Mansbach’s book. But, have you read the children’s version by the same author? It’s called “Seriously, Just go to Sleep.” Love it!!!

    p.s. Thanks for being real. Life is just so much more fun when we can poke fun and laugh at ourselves!

  46. OMG, you just perfectly commentated the exact same nightly routine at our house with my three. I loved reading every word of this post…as I do with just about every single one you write! :)

  47. This is my first visit and I adore your honest humor. I’m totally stealing “victory lap” for my mommy lexicon! And the finger anecdote is PRICELESS. Save that one for that child’s wedding toast.

    I’m a single mom and struggled with my moles as well! That is, until I stumbled across this parenting gem: I tell them that if they are ready for bed, and IN bed, by 8:00 then they get a story and snuggle time. If not, then just a prayer and it’s lights out.

    Oh sure, the first time they missed the mark, it was total Armageddon. But now I don’t even remind them how close they’re getting to 8 p.m.. They even asked me for a clock in their bathroom so they have a better idea of the time–no problem!

    There are a few bumps here and there but I’m a LOT less stressed and enjoy tuck-in time with them. Woe to the mole who pops his head out after lights-out, though! I’ve punched my sweet-mommy time card and victory-lap mommy is all not messing around!

    Kudos on a great blog!

  48. Love the humor and honesty. Thanks! I didn’t read through all of the comments, so perhaps someone already recommended this, but you should check out Adam Mansbach’s book: “Go the *!&# to sleep” – it would be an appropriate victory lap activity some evening.

  49. Someone emailed your Whack A Mole story to my sister while we were on a roadtrip….we each have 3 small grandchildren (mine–3 girls, her’s–3 boys–all 6 under 6 years old). We have watched our amazing girls with this little ones and I have to say I nearly had to pull off the freeway we were laughing so hard. What a GREAT article and how amazing you are to have written it…..we shared it with our girls and they too had a long-needed bout of belly laughs…..thank you for sharing your life

  50. I am STILL laughing hysterically. Thanks;)

  51. My twins creep out of their room with little smiles on their faces: “Mommy, whatcha doing?” “I’m working. Good night. Go to bed.” “But…we forgot to give you a huuuuuug.” Sigh. Then on about the 10th hug, I go in and say, “Do NOT get out of bed again.” “We gonna get a spanking?” “Yes.” Because I am mother of the year and we have run through that conversation so many times that now it’s a routine. PS No spankings have ever resulted in getting out of bed that last time. So either they get it, or they are laying in bed, shivering in fear.

  52. OMG! A friend just told me about your blog and I wish you were my neighbor so I could hug you! What a great story. Yes! Whack A Mole! I so get this. Thank you for being you!

  53. The Whack-A-Mole analogy is priceless. Seriously. ROFLMAO. I used to have a routine of bath, story, and back rubs for the little ones. Now, I’m the one who needs the back rubs! All of mine are school aged, and have reading logs each week to fill in, so they read to each other at bedtime, which is a win-win. They get stories, and hone their reading skills :-) And we have ditched the back-rubs in favor of snuggles til they drift off…lol!

  54. just fabulous!!!

  55. oh my goodness.. i love this and i am really starting to love you :)
    you say it like it is. and i feel better because of you today!

  56. I had a particularly rough night with my 2 year old and I am thanking my stars I read this post as part of tonight’s “victory lap”. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe and ended up reading half of it to my husband.

    • i too find pleasure in showing some of the parenting posts to my husband. as if to say – here, see – IT IS NOT JUST ME!! there are others! this is real stuff! :)

  57. Thank you, thank you for posting this because it is so true and so funny! You made my day………..

  58. So so very funny, as usual! It’s always worse when you do finally make it to your victory lap and get called in, once again, by child #2 who is beside himself to inform you that he can, in fact, lick his own armpit. I simply curl up in the fetal position right there on the floor and fall asleep.

  59. Thank you! There is such great comfort in knowing that bedtime for others is the same that it is for us. Thank you also for being such a great parent and listening to your child sound out all those words, responding to her cries for attention, and being there for her.

  60. Great image! Great story! Well done!

    Thank you for sharing! I’ll continue to pass it on! :)

  61. This was awesome. I needed it tonight! My three year old was just begging to have slippers put on and it’s 75 degrees in here.

  62. went errand with 5 yr.old girl grand,gramm im thirsty,coins bending machine,she likes kinkar tea,it came out 2 orange soda n 1 ,7 wind up in my bag,she said she not thirsty .at lunch, restaurant,she said she likes,shrimps n rice.there it is,she said ,she dont like the shrimp.because.its got honey sauce in it.this time,she have me cook 5 boil eggs.she just eat the white n she thinks i eat the 5 yolk.i told her to put it in fridge.what a day.

  63. Ok.. Mine are 30, 25, 22 & 18 now. But boy, did you whack it! Thank you for this. It made me giggle with memories of how torturous that time was (and how sweet)

  64. grammycare,5 year old grand girl.vacation from school be in kinder ,school open.9 years old grandson,be home at 2 n afternoon,afterschool.the 2 other grands be off from school later on in grands mommy,work as reporter an photographer in local newspaper,in our village town in guam.lovingcare gramms,lots of help for the family.the cartoons networks helps to entertain them.swimming like ducklings,they go swimming in our porch pool.on week school days,they have fun.

  65. i have 9 made sink 3 of it is outdoors n 4 bath tubs,i made for them babies,2 baby regular size swimming they get their hands dirty,they either wash their hands or bath in bath tub or baby swimming pool.sleeping not a problem,they play n tired off,at bedtime,the 2 years old is something else.shes night person.shes the last person to sleep.follow around the livingroom couch an be with gramms ,with her milk n ba.

  66. Sounds EXACTLY like my house. I have 4 all in between 21mos and 6.5!

  67. im mommy gramms for 4 beautiful,kids age 9 to 2 yrs.old two boys an two girls,my house was a sanctuary or playground for my grands,can relate to that.

  68. This is HYSTERICAL! I am dreading sleep training my twins. We’ve always rocked or held them to get them to go to sleep. I know the excuses are coming though… Please keep these coming. You are a great writer!

  69. hilarious! makes me feel like not so bad of a parent (at least, more normal!) because even though my 1 and 3-year-olds are pretty good, i go through our bedtime routine thinking “WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER???” the entire time! who knew i wasn’t the only one?

  70. I’m a grandma now to three little moles and they are setting standards that even their parents couldn’t match (although they were fairly expert stallers). I did, however, often fall asleep way before the end of the endless stories and they’d have to wake me up or fall asleep trying. A nice nap at 9pm- not bad. And the very best part? YEARS of victory laps await!!

  71. My moles are all grown up and now I go to bed first. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Hang in there!

  72. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! This is the funniest thing EVER!!!!!!!

  73. Oh this is hilarious and SO my house except my husband is not as hard of a hitter and when it’s his turn there is more water, questions and times out of bed than when it’s mine. Mommy means business.

  74. I love this post!! Bedtime is the hardest time of day for me! My 6 month old can not fall asleep without being walked outside and then I have to pray that she won’t wake during the transfer from stroller to crib and then about an hour later she “asks” to be I our bed, which I’m trying to cut out and it’s been torture!

  75. Did I ever tell you about the time I chaperoned a field trip to Richmond with my son Seth’s 4th grade class? We were sitting in the virginia house of delegates. You know? The same place where several U.S. Presidents have sat. In fact, I do believe Seth was sitting in the very seat that some person included in American history books once sat. He was at the important table up front. Where EVERYONE ELSE in the room could see him. Anyway, as the tour guide explained how many important people had sat at that very table, Seth reaches back, puts his hand down his pants, scratches vigorously, and proceeds to smell his finger for the remainder of the tour guide’s speech. I wanted to SCREAM, “Please get your finger out from under your nose!!” And… it was over an hour before he had an opportunity to wash that stinky hand. Lots. Of. Finger-sniffing.

  76. i’m just so, so, so happy that our children aren’t the only ones with itchy butts and smelly fingers. 😉

  77. Love it! Has anyone else noticed the shares and likes went from a several hundred etc to 33.4k etc in the past posts? If this is correct and I’m not misunderstanding something, way to go Glennon and Momastery!!!!!!

  78.……this is soooooo how it is at our house every.single.night. except we’ve never had the stinky finger excuse and i about peed my pants. that’s a gooder!! “it’s a good thing they’re cute”….is my very regular, sometimes hourly, mantra!! love it! thanks for sharing!

  79. I used to feel the same way. One day, I sat down and tried to puzzle out why putting the kids to bed bothered me so much. I came to the conclusion that my kids are my legacy. They will tell the story of who I was long after I’m gone, and it was up to me to determine what that story would be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly no saint. That said, I decided that I wanted my kids to look back on their time with me, especially when they are faced with the same situation in their lives, and think “my Dad always made time for me”. At the end of the day, when I’m on my deathbed, about to draw my last breath, I’m not going to think, “I sure am glad I didn’t read that third book”. Instead, I’m going to look around at my family gathered around me and feel content that I gave them everything I had while I was here.

    • This is exactly how I feel, Zack. My kids are not crazy at bedtime, but even for the simple requests like a book or for me to lay next to them and rub their backs… truth is, I have to FIGHT to keep my composure and calm many a night just to do those things. The TV, computer, bowl of ice cream and endless projects all call my name, but I shut them out just for those few minutes and I decide to do the thing I don’t want to do… and what gives me the energy I need is remembering that I don’t know how long I’ll have these precious little ones, or how long they’ll have me. Not to sound morbid, but no one knows what tomorrow will bring. I want to know that I offered my best effort, most of the time, to make those deposits of love into my kids… even at bedtime. But this was one hilarious post and yes, I did laugh my head off!!

    • I feel the same way, but even when you do all that stuff, it is still up for their interpretation. I stay at home and do most of the childcare here all day – making nutritious meals, reading stories, generally being loving and giving and as kind as I can be all day. I do the nighttime routine every night and I loooove to have that snuggly time when we share what we are thankful for that day with each other. It really is my favorite time of day. But still, my daughter said to me tonight (after we giggled about our day, read a story, told each other we were thankful for each other in all the world, I sang her favorite song and lovingly rubbed her back), she told me that I need more sleep than daddy because I am always grouchy and daddy is never grouchy. seriously?

  80. […] Yes, putting young children to bed is a little too much like a game of whack-a-mole. But a lot less […]

  81. great analogy and this made me smile – a devious kind of smile in knowing that (as usual) I am not alone in my feelings about bedtimes. I call it Parent Puppetry in which we are used like little marionettes for their own selfish intents (mainly to stay up a few minutes later). But now that my 4 year old can go to bed WITHOUT ME, I really miss it. Such a conundrum, this motherhood stuff.

  82. never ever have I commented. this REQUIRED I comment. this is my night, every single night. thank you for making me feel so not alone! and for making me know I’m really normal not a biznatch! the first “few” times I have to return to their room I’m kind, loving, sweet . . . by the 15th time I’m about to explode fireworks from my nostrils. so, thanks!

  83. We are cracking up here in Mozambique!! We have played whack a mole for years now — and when we got to the stinky finger part we were snorting we laughed so hard. This is especially true because one of ours did the same thing – but wasn’t sweet enough to announce the problem ahead of time. Instead, we got, “Hey, Daddy, smell my finger!” At least Craig didn’t have to smell it too!

  84. Hilarious and oh-so-relatable! I mean, what parent hasn’t been there, really? And Oh man. The “open closet door.” My girl Will. Not. Tolerate. the open closet door either. Bedtime at our house got much smoother when we started changing up the bedtime routine each night to accommodate only what I (or dad) could handle that evening. Sometimes that is stories, songs, and loads of snuggling when we’re feeling it, and sometimes that is tucked-in and lights-out (maybe she looks at books on her own for a little while) and that is all. We’re all more sane, and instances where we lose our cool are much less frequent, which means we can end the day on a high note.

  85. This could not be more correct!!! Thanks for making my day! And making my bedtime episodes with my “moles” seem not completely insane!

  86. Thanks for the laughs and letting us know we are not alone! Right down to the stinky fingers!!

  87. I am an 81 year old mother of 3 and a grandmother of 9 grandchildren and 11 greats and I think the bed time pranks are hilarious. I too had tears laughing. Funny thing though I don`t even remember any bedtime problems, not that there weren`t any, but moral of the story is they just become the dearest thing to me and I never get enough of them.

  88. I’m so glad that I found Momastery (with the help of a couple friends) – consider me one of your newest Monkees, Glennon and Monkee crew!
    last night was yet another one of those nights here when the whack-a-mole analogy is so good (and funny -thank you!) – Hubby & I have been referring to it as ‘interrupting the excuse parade” when we send them back to bed….mine seemed pretty creative with their seemingly hundreds of excuses until i read your daughter’s ‘smelly finger’ complaint,Glennon! we’ll be thinking of you and your ‘moles’ at bedtime when we’re waiting for ours to be silent &/or asleep! and yes,it is so nice when it’s Hubby’s turn to see why the moles are up! (thank God the whack-the-mole thing isn’t every kid and every night!!)
    p.s. i’ve been doing this parenting thing for over 15 yrs & over the last 6+, we hardly ever do the bedtime reading with them-and-in their-rooms; the preschooler gets reading-with(&/or to)-Mommy time in the morning & reading by Mommy after lunch instead & the ‘big kids’ get a choice of reading with us (silently or aloud,kids’ choice) in the living room starting at least half an hour BEFORE bedtime or heading to bed as soon as the first reminder is issued & having alone quiet reading time……no way do i want to do through the struggling-beginning-reader-has-to-finish-the-book-before-bed thing again!!!!

  89. I am laughing so hard right now my throat is starting to hurt and I have tears coming out of my eyes! This is so, so true!

  90. I used to tell my 4 sons that after 10p I was no longer responsible for my reactions to them! Now it’s 9p for my grandson (what? I’m a lot older now!) Very funny ’cause it’s so true!

  91. I feel like I am with my grandchildren….LOL

  92. LOL…oh man…too funny!!! Thank you for writing this! Cheers to you and your husband. I laughed so hard that my 3 year old demanded an explanation. You guys are a beautiful family!

  93. Hilariously and painfully true…..

  94. Laughed until I cried! The reading is so my little one. I too was a teacher and know how good it is for her…but it also makes me want to bang my head against the wall, especially the thirty-ninth time I have reminded her that there is no way to sound out the word “the”…it is and will always be just “the”.

  95. Hysterical!

  96. You wait until you’re tired to put the moles to bed??? No wonder. I always put mine to bed while I was fresh–around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

    Kidding! I was warned this was funny, but I was cracking up with the first sentence. What imagery came to mind with the phrase ‘whacamole” associated with putting little ones to bed!.

  97. Perhaps someone has already asked this in the bazillion comments I didn’t read, but … PLEASE tell me you’ve read or heard of “Go the F*$# to sleep” … it. is. amazing.

    • YES!!!! I found that book at a little novelty shop in Old Sacramento!!! It was hysterical!!!!

      Try one of the big book stores!!! A really funny read!

  98. I guess I’m a crab. The answer to this is in the 3rd paragraph, “Counting the minutes until no one is the boss of us…” The problem is that the kid is the boss of you. The sooner Mommy is Mommy, the sooner small one will know that Bedtime is Bedtime. Then Mommy gets her husband, couch, TV show & wine without the not-so-subtle-emotion of an anger laden carnival game. Yes, it’s hard to over-throw the reigning pint sized monarch, but trust me, it’s worth the effort. It may take days, even a couple weeks, but it will happen. Then, as I said, you won’t have this teeth grinding hostility toward the kid. You will have the peaceful and loving bedtime of your dreams.

    • Really?? I’m sure your children are perfect and you are the perfect parent. This post was refreshing and honest and absolutely hilarious. Loved it! I laughed so hard I cried.

      • Please don’t do this. While I totally agree with you that this was a refreshing and hilarious take on this situation that I know too well, the sarcasm is just so stinging. Please keep in mind Glennon’s example of funny without harming. My first reaction was totally the same as yours because i love what Glennon says, and so don’t criticize my Glennon! But before I post anything, I try to remember that this is Glennon’s “house” and as a guest she asks that I make the effort to post with love.

        • Glennon did not ask for my advice so I will bite my tongue and not give it. But I totally agree with Amy. My boys, now 24 and 27, were certainly not perfect, but there was never any question of who was The Boss when they were little.

  99. I could not agree more. Bedtime should absolutely be in the morning.

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