Bedtime Trade Agreement

Tasia Leslie

Under the leadership of daddy, mommy renegotiated the terms of bedtime, replacing it with an updated and rebalanced agreement that works much better for the Leslie household, the Bedtime Trade Agreement (BTA), which entered into force on June 3, 2021. The BTA is a mutual beneficial win for the Leslie household parents. The agreement is creating a more balanced, reciprocal trade supporting high-demand toys for Logan and grows the power of the Leslie parents to enforce bedtime.”

Agreement highlights include:

  • Creating a more level playing field for the Leslie household, including improved rules of toy trade.
  • Benefiting the Leslie parents by enforcing and strengthening their trade powers in the Leslie household.
  • Supporting 21st Century parenting through the teaching of value of each toy and ensuring opportunities for trade at bedtime.
  • New rules covering what is not considered a toy eligible for trade, as well as a rule devoted to ensuring there are toys available in the bedtime zone to trade.

 

With kids it seems like every six months or so some new challenge appears out of thin air. These challenges, unlike our favorite video games, do not get harder as we advance. Instead, they mutate and prey on our weaknesses of the time, forcing us to evolve our parenting.

Sometime in the last year, Logan discovered that he could try getting away with things. All he had to do is try. This includes bringing toys to bed. 

At some point, the toys that accumulated in his room got out of hand. Having so many toys in his room kept him from falling asleep until well past bedtime and created a domino effect of an over-tired Logan the next morning.

The simplest solution was to remove all the toys from his room and start fresh. At bedtime he could choose three toys that he wanted to take with him.

However, like I mentioned earlier, these kids like to mutate and prey on our weaknesses. So, 30 minutes into bedtime, he is asking for different toys than what he has. In his mind, I’m sure he’s thinking that I will just give him those toys, and the collection in his room will once again grow. But I was desperate to not repeat the pattern. Thus, the Bedtime Trade Agreement was established.

The agreement stated that any toy could be traded for another toy somewhere in the house. The trick, we soon found out, was defining “toy.” Logan would collect pieces of trash – old crumpled stickers, bubble wrap and clothing tags - and try to barter these off for match box cars, monster trucks and superhero figurines.

I’m inclined to say, “in retrospect I should have known this kid was gaming the system” but I knew in the moment that I was being played. What parent would allow their kid to trade trash for a valued toy? Well, a parent that really wants to lay down with a season finale of Supernatural would, obviously.

This brings us to current day with the Bedtime Trade Agreement. An agreement that removes all stimulation that isn’t books and stuffed animals prior to bedtime to create a clean slate for trading.

If anyone had told me four years ago that I would be using global diplomacy strategies to get my kid to bed every night, I’d look at them like they had two heads. But here we are.

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