There’s a line in the movie Date Night where Tina Fey talks about how shocked her kids are each night that they have to put their pajamas on and get ready for bed, as though they don’t have to do it every. single. night. Dan and I laughed so hard when we heard that because our kids are exactly the same.
Each night no matter how long they’ve been alive, no matter how many times we’ve done the identical bedtime routine, they still find it amazingly odd and annoying that we expect them to go change into pajamas. They roll their eyes and beg for mercy. Often they ask if they can just sleep in their clothes, mud-caked jeans, slug-slimed socks, whatever.
I say no.
But they keep asking. Every second they spend changing their clothes before bed is one second they cannot spend shrieking like eels, running up and down the stairs, making Wanda laugh and not-brushing their teeth in the bathroom. Life, time, it’s all too precious to spend taking off one pair of clothes and putting another one on.
Maybe if I give them more warning, like while they’re eating breakfast tomorrow I could tell them, “Hey, enjoy your cereal because in about 12 hours you’re gonna need to put your pajamas on,” and then again as they get off the bus, “That outfit looks so cute on you, almost as cute as your pajamas will look four hours from now when you put them on in preparation for sleep. I should also remind you that I was planning on asking you to sleep this evening.”
I’m thinking notes in their lunches, pajama-themed bedtime stories, and labels sewn to the front of all their favorite clothes that read, “Temporary Clothing Unit – Pajamas will be worn during periods of sleep.”
Now Magoo can’t read but I’m pretty sure that enough literate people would get a kick out of the clothing signs and read them aloud to him that he’d get the hint. Except that he wouldn’t. It’s not that they don’t have a clue, it’s that they refuse to have one. Acting shocked and affronted each night about the pajamas is some weird little power struggle that they’re holding out hope they will someday win.
But they shan’t. I shall prevail. No matter how many times they throw their clean pajamas back in the laundry and then complain that there are none in their drawers, I shall prevail.
I also look forward to the day when eating vegetables with dinner does not blow their minds and they can wrap their heads around the fact that if they get something out to play with, I will probably ask them to put it away again when they’re finished with it.