The true test of a child's creativity, I believe, is how many ways they can come up with to stall for time when they really should be in bed, sleeping. In my household, first it's the one book, then it's two books, then my daughter will volunteer to read me a book. She knows I'm a sucker for reading. And like the dog that refuses to go to the bathroom until you've dragged him into the front door, she won't read to me any other time of the day. I've gotta bite.
Then it's the thirst. Then it's the bathroom. That's a good one because a no is a gamble. You're gambling that she's bluffing. Read the "tells" wrong, you may find yourself charting lake urine before heading off for work.
Then there's the monsters. Monster check time. Somehow those monsters are super scary even if the only monster in her visual vocabulary is Elmo.
But that's a warm up. I've been telling her I put monsters under her bed lately, or unicorns or fairies. Since she doesn't believe me, I know she believes there's nothing under there. And she knows I know but we do the routine anyway, like the Rainman and "Who's on First."
My daughter's next favorite is "Mom, I have something very important to ask you." Typically this is the time she'll tell me something that has happened during her day. As a mom I then must grab these crumbs which are much more descriptive than the "I forgot" which is the answer I get to any earlier questions about her day.
Then it's "Mom, I have a question." This question has quite a range. Which planet is the hottest to why didn't I breastfeed.
Somehow this gets us to: "Mom, are you going to die? When are you going to die?"
Mom opts to answer her probing and proceeding factual questions, making the answer as boring as possible. Finally, bored (**goal achieved**) she'll drift off to sleep. Hello, 10 p.m.
Mom stays awake thinking about monsters who disguise themselves as family friends or lure children to cars with promises of candy and puppies and wondering when actually she is going to die.