Bedtime Is Like a Game of Whack-a-Mole

The other night I was getting our kids ready for bed when the game “Whack-a-Mole” came to my mind.

(“Whack-a-Mole” is an arcade game featuring a waist-high cabinet with a number of holes in it. Each hole contains an animatronic mole, which pops up and down at random intervals. The objective of the game is for the player, who holds a mallet, to use the mallet to bop (or “Whack”) each mole in the head in the brief moments that it is popped up out of its hole.)

Why did I think of “Whack-a-Mole” at bedtime? I’m really not sure. And then, it starts:

Why are you out of bed? “I just need to get a drink of water.” (Whack!)

What are you doing out of bed? “I forgot to brush my teeth.” (Whack!)

I thought I sent you to bed. “I can’t find my stuffed animal.” (Whack!)

Weren’t you in bed already? “I have some homework I forgot to do.” (Whack!)

Shouldn’t you be in bed? “I needed to get the cat out of my bed.” (Whack!)

Haven’t I already sent you to bed twice? “I wanted to eat an orange.” Didn’t you already brush your teeth? “Yes.” (Whack!)

What are you doing up? “I think my pajamas are on backwards.” (Whack!)

Didn’t I send you to bed a half hour ago? “I just want to get a book to read in bed.” (Whack!)

Isn’t it past your bedtime? “I can’t fall asleep. I’m scared.” (Whack!)

Didn’t you already get a book? “Yes. I finished it and need to get another one.” (Whack!)

You again? What is it this time? “I need a drink.” Didn’t you already get a drink? “I’m a very thirsty person.” (Whack!)

I thought I sent you to bed seven times already. “I’m having bad dreams.” (Whack!)

Why aren’t you in your own bed? “I thought I heard something.” That “something” that you heard was me telling your sister to go back to bed! (Whack!)

What’s the matter now? “I’m too cold.” (Whack!)

What is it this time? “I’m too hot.” (Whack!)

Finally, eventually, they actually stay in their beds for the rest of the night. Or, at least I think they do. I’ve long since fallen asleep myself, so I might have missed another sixteen moles popping out of their beds.

And, although I shouldn’t have to say this, I feel I should point out that I am NOT advocating whacking these bedtime moles with an actual mallet. The “Whack-a-Mole” game is just a metaphor. 

But, keep that metaphorical hammer handy, because when it comes time to get them OUT of bed in the morning, you might need it to pound on the walls.

Joseph Capell
Joseph Capell
Joe Capell is a husband and the father of four children. When not herding the kids or working, he enjoys writing funny-ish things for the amusement of others. He’s also fond of naps and eating ice cream with his wife.

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