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What time is it? Bedtime.


Summer presents many challenges to the positive parent – not least how to keep your child in bed so that you can drink beer and watch movies without interruption.

Flea has decided that while it’s still light enough to read a book, she’d rather be reading than wasting her time with any of that sleeping nonsense. And while reading she likes to take occasional breaks to find a new teddy, get a glass of water and generally wander around the house.

A couple of nights ago, I went upstairs at 10pm to find Flea on the landing outside her bedroom.

“Do you KNOW what time it is?” I squeaked at her.

“No Mummy,” Flea replied, giving me her patented I’ll-explain-this-slowly-for-you face. “I don’t know how to tell the time.”  

Well, ask a stupid question.

Last night, though, I got tough. No five-year-old is going to get the better of me. So at 8pm, when I heard Flea wandering down the landing, I raced upstairs.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting a glass of water.”

“Well, get the water and go back to bed and STAY there until the morning, okay?”

Flea considered her options.“What if I need to go the toilet?”

Pah. I had an answer all ready for THAT question. “Well, go the toilet now and then you won’t need to go again, so you can stay in bed all night, can't you?”

Flea raced to the bathroom, raced back and jumped into bed.

Congratulating myself on another textbook parenting moment, I said goodnight, gave my little angel a kiss and reminded her that she was now to stay in bed, no matter what.

"What if I'm thirsty?" 

"There's a bottle of water on the nightstand." 

"What if I need a teddy?" 

"You have two teddies here, you'll be fine." 

“What if I need the toilet?”

“You won’t. You’ve just been, haven’t you?”

There was a pause. I smell victory in the air.




“You know sometimes if you have a urinary infection, you need to go the toilet a lot…..”  

Sometimes it's easier just to admit defeat. 


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

About The Author


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.


  1. Midlife Singlemum

    lol. When you say she is 5 years old…. 5 to the power of what?

  2. Alex

    The Boy refuses to go to sleep with his door shut now days, so we tip toe past it with him staring at us until all hours. Most of the time he actually stays in it though…

  3. The Mad House

    I think that it is time to get Flea a clock for her bedroom and to teach her to tell the time. I have to say though I do wish my boys were a little more like your daughter when it came to going to bed

  4. Marylin

    Oh my god… she is far too clever for her own good!! 😉 x

  5. BlogsAloud

    Hi there!
    I’m a podcaster and blogger firmly enmeshed in the world of self-publishing. I’m currently working on aggregating a bunch of unique, funny, and interesting posts from around the web into a podcast that will be available for free on my site.
    I came across your post while doing my research and would love to produce it as a straight read on my podcast. So I am contacting you to get permission 😉 Your blog, info, and pertinent details will be linked in the show notes so please don’t worry about losing attribution.
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    BlogsAloud Podcast

  6. The Coffee Lady

    This is one of the things they never tell you about parenting. Even when your tiny baby was waking at midnight at 2am and 5am, you still got a block of time between 7 and 10pm for films and beer. AND it couldn’t ask for things or attempt to reason with you.
    With a ten year old and a six year old, I am often pleading with them to go to sleep because I will be in bed myself in 7 minutes.
    It’s not just summer, either. Sigh.

  7. Honest Mum

    Wow sometimes you have to admit defeat. The kid is too clever. End of.

  8. EmLeary

    This sounds scarily like something my son would come up with.
    I LOVE how you use this blog as a record of the special little conversations you two have. It’s genuinely entertaining, but it’s also going to be such a lovely thing to look back on. I didn’t even write down J’s first word (bad mummy!). Em x

  9. Sally Whittle

    Ha- that sounds ever so slightly sinister…

  10. Sally Whittle

    She’s very good really. Just has a lot of thoughts in her head!

  11. Sally Whittle

    Tell me about it – I’m terrified for the future.

  12. Sally Whittle

    This is why one child is best. Easier to terrify into submission when absolutely necessary.

  13. Sally Whittle

    It doesn’t help that I’m often not that bright by the time evening rolls around…

  14. Sally Whittle

    Thanks Em, that’s a lovely comment – is sort of is what I love about blogging, capturing the little moments I’d forget otherwise. I think we do remember the big moments but it’s the things we laugh about every day that I want to record, too.

  15. party bags

    Sleeping is the best part of the day. It’s my favorite time.

  16. coach trips from Kent

    I appreciate the ideas and I would like to read more good stuff keep it up! This is very nice article and have great information.

  17. angelsandurchinsblog

    Thank God three of my children can’t read. And I’m keeping the one who can well away from this. Please don’t let Flea start a blog until she’s at least 21 and running for parliament or something.

  18. Au Pair UK

    I cant believe Flea is only five, she even know the urinary infection things…so clever and so cute, you must have a lot of happy time with her!


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