My Homer Simpson Moment of the Day

Caitlin is the queen of prolonging bedtime. She will beg and plead for “one more story mama” and then to say goodnight to her Daddy one more time and then for something to drink or eat until I am thoroughly annoyed. With her being out of daycare for two weeks during the holidays, any pathetic semblance of a bedtime routine that I had in place went to hell in a handbasket. One thing I’ve learned about my children from being enrolled in daycare is that they thrive on schedules, order, and rules. Otherwise it just turns into camp chaos around here and I’m left paddling upstream with one oar.

But it’s a new year and Amelia will be transitioning at some point this year to a big girl bed and I want to get the bedtime routine down like a well orchestrated dinner party thrown by Martha Stewart. So last night I brought out a freebie wall calendar and a sheet of stickers and explained to Caitlin that once we read our two bedtime stories I will tuck her in and then it’s time for her to go to bed by herself, no stalling. The next morning, if she did, indeed, go to bed by herself, she gets a sticker on the appropriate day on the calendar and when she has seven stickers in a row we’ll take a trip down to the dollar store and she can pick out a prize. She seemed absolutely receptive and thrilled with the idea and immediately chose a marker so that she could write in a big green “3” on the calendar to see where the sticker would go.

It worked like a charm. She was sound asleep well before 9 p.m. I then smacked myself on the forehead and said, “D’OH.”

So, have you had any “D’OH” moments lately?

p.s. Well this was perfect timing, my friend at 1SmartMom just posted about establishing goals with children!


  1. Anne says:

    whoa. the calender thing sounds like something I need to try with Lily. desperately.

    and preschool here has been out for 3 weeks…it is driving me bonkers. stop the insanity!

  2. Angel says:

    Interesting that we were in the same thought pattern, my “DOH” moments are simply as you said when I have made things harder than they have to be. We know what to do, yet we struggle and fight trying to make it work another way. For crying out loud, just do what works! You know why try to reinvent the wheel.

    P.S. I love your style of writing, and I almost always can relate.

  3. laura says:

    That’s brilliant! I love it! I will file that idea in my head for use in a few years.

    I’m just now catching on that my 3 month old sometimes fusses to be put down and left alone to go to sleep. So there I am trying to comfort-nurse her, or burp her, or solve whatever problem she’s having so she can calm down enough to go to sleep…and she’s actually just desperate to lay down and close her eyes.



  4. mamatulip says:

    Well of COURSE I had a D’oh moment today. 😉

    Julia got her flu shot today. I told her about it yesterday and I said that I had a special yellow lollipop that I’d been saving for the day she was to get her needle, and that as soon as she was done at the doctor’s office she could have it, no questions asked.

    Of course, the nurse at our office gave her a sucker, but because I had promised her the yellow lollipop last night, NO QUESTIONS ASKED — a phrase that my daughter remembered completely — she had two suckers in a row.


  5. Carolyn says:

    I just posted something similar. We’ve been working on getting Brandon to sleep in his bed for two months with no success. I finally suggested moving it away from the window and hubby devised a similar calendar/sticker reward system to the one that you came up with. The combination of the two seems to have done the trick as he’s slept in the bed the past five nights. Yep, that deserved a DOH!

  6. Jennifer says:

    LMAO! I used to advise parents to do this all the time when I was in practice….before I had children. Now, as I read your post I had my *doh* moment as I’ve been having the same issue with Morgan. I used to hand out a sticker sheet with client targeted goals. You would want to reward bahaviors that they do anyway (like….helping set the table) to reinforce the ones you want to work on. Each task was assigned a certain number of stars, the kids could save up the completed sheets for various dollar amounts of toys (worked really well for the older kids in establishing…crap…whats the freaking word….patience….no, delaying gratification thats it *signs my brain is leaking out my ear*).

    Oh god, I cannot beleive I forgot about this. LMAO!

  7. Paige says:

    Great idea! Will have to try that with my little one when he’s ready. Hopefully he will be ready before the new baby comes!!

  8. Renee says:

    That is a good idea! Hope it continues to work for you. I have ‘Doh!’ moments many times daily, so I’m in touch.

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