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Go The [bleep] To Sleep!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I have this recurring fantasy every night as l slump on the edge of my bed trying to decide whether to take my vitamins, brush my teeth, or wash my face. It’s only ever one out of the three. 

I’m caught in a blizzard of sand as the sun goes down on the Sahara Desert. I stagger into a deep cave to take shelter, and behind a jagged rock I see the glow of an ancient oil lamp. I rub it, because what else do you do with a lamp? A great and fearsome genie emerges in a cloud of shimmering purple smoke. “I will grant you three wishes,” he booms. “Name your heart’s desires!”

I scramble to my feet and declare, “I wish my son would fall asleep easily every night!”

“Done!” bellows the genie! “And for your second wish?”

Without hesitating, I say, “I wish my daughter would take a friggin’ nap every day!”

The genie pauses. “Errrr…. What?”

“My daughter,” I repeat. “I wish my daughter would take a nap every day.”

“I am the great and powerful genie!” he thunders. He seems angry. “Money, fame, revenge… all within your grasp! I do not deal in trifles! Tell me what it is you desire!”

“I said what I said,” I answer. “I. Wish. My. Daughter. Would. Take. A nap…”

“Done!” the genie interrupts. 

He seems clearly irritated at this point, but he puffs up his chest and bellows, “And for your third and final wish?” 

The walls of the cave shake at the sound of his voice and rocks begin to fall. Dust swirls and fills my lungs. I’m coughing. Tears sting my eyes. This might be my final breath. 

“I wish…” I cough and fall to my knees, clutching my throat. I begin to gasp, “I wish my husband would go to bed early!”

The genie’s mouth falls open and he stares at me in utter disbelief. But then, exasperated, he snaps his fingers. I roll onto my back and smile. 

Look at this cuteness. My boys peacefully sleeping — I want this every night!

Dramatic, I know, but I really feel like half of my life’s problems would be solved if everyone in this house would just go the <bleep> to sleep! 

The drama usually begins at 5 PM, which, coincidentally is when MisterE heads upstairs for his evening classes. Watching her father retreat up the stairs is like Hurricane’s cue to begin acting exactly like an overstimulated, headstrong, 33 pound hurricane. 

Since we began our quarantine in February, she has flat-out refused to take naps! She will agree to stay in her room for an hour, but she makes it very clear by kicking the walls and singing at the top of her lungs that she is, in fact, not asleep. 

The problem is that she can only stay awake for about nine hours without becoming an absolute maniac. So when 5pm rolls around, she cries because she wants one banana, but there are four bananas in the fruit basket. She cries because she needs to pee. She cries because the shirt she has been wearing all day is suddenly not pink!  

Here she is crying because the car lights were making rainbows on the wall, and she just loves rainbows so much.

Along with the crying comes clumsiness. She starts to walk into walls, fall off the couch, trip over her own feet… I’m constantly having to catch or redirect her. For each of the times I don’t get to her fast enough, I have to give her booboos three magic kisses and sing the accident song.

In the midst of all this crying and booboo kissing, I have a four month old who thinks he is king of this jungle. He no longer takes an evening nap, and he seems genuinely upset about this. Like, dude, just… take a nap! 

He gets extremely cranky around 7 PM, and starts making increasingly ridiculous, high-pitched, screeching demands. If he wants to eat from the left breast, for example, it is in my best interest not to offer him the right. 

Trying to put two overtired children to bed simultaneously is the hardest thing I do as a human, and that’s how I end up slumped on my bed every night dreaming of genie. 

Sure, sure, they look cute, but you cannot imagine the harassment I endured leading up to this moment. And then they never want to sleep because they want to cuddle each other endlessly.

Oh, but wait! Then there’s MisterE. My sweet, sweet MisterE. 

In an ideal world, MisterE would wrap up his coursework and fall asleep by midnight. That way he can wake up relatively well rested at 6 AM to go on his morning run, take a shower, make us breakfast and coffee, read the news, play sudoku, solve world hunger and cure cancer all before the kids wake up!

But in our real world, MisterE fashions himself a “night owl” and has been known to crawl into bed at 3 AM. He’ll wriggle into my half of the bed because it’s warm, as if he doesn’t know by now that 3 AM is not cuddle time. 

Perhaps early morning cuddling was a thing when we were young and childless, but now… Now, I’m sweaty and hormonally imbalanced, my retainer is digging into my cheek, I’m probably extremely gassy from stress eating, and I do not want to run the risk of having another baby. So stay on your side of the bed, please and thank you. (Love you!)

I digress. 

By coming to bed late, it means the kids wake up before he does, so he has to draaaag himself out of bed to catch up with them. He’s grumpy, they’re grumpy, I get grumpy, and there is just so. much. crying! 

As a morning person, I take offense to so much hullabaloo before noon! 

Here’s my unpopular opinion: People who are “not morning people” should go to bed early. Like, really early! That way you can be rested and refreshed when those dreaded mornings come around! I’m just saying. 

Seriously folks, if y’all have any leads on the location of a magical lamp, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions on how to make little people (and husbands) fall asleep. Help! 

Have fun! 


Hi, I'm Chioma Ikoku, a spirited explorer and a peace-loving homebody. I founded Casa Diem Life to help you combine the excitement of travel with the comfort of home, because I believe that adventure begins at home.

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