Hot Bedtime Game

Mandy Waysman

Oh… no. You didn’t think I meant one of THOSE bedtime games did you? No, ma’am. Get real, you have kids. Think about the children. THE CHILDREN!!

OK, I like to call this game Hot Potato to Bed. It goes like this: As it nears time to put the kids to sleep, you and your partner go about doing errands. These errands take you away from the “hot zone.” The “hot zone” being the area that the children are in. You trade off until it is exactly bedtime. When that time arrives whoever is in the hot zone loses. The loser puts the potatoes (you may refer to them as your children) to bed.

For example,  I may put off showering from my workout until close to bedtime. I say, “Honey I have to go shower, is that OK?” No one wants to smell me – so everyone says please proceed to the shower. I come back after showering and see that the kids are still up. This was not the winning move.

My husband is up next. “I have to go to the bathroom,” he whispers and leaves the room. I’m not sure why he whispered, for whatever reason the children only show interest in my bathroom habits. I can’t very well deny that privilege. Lord knows I’ve cleaned up enough accidents today. You go ahead, I don’t give a crap.

He returns and I remember all of the sudden that dishes need to be done. And I really, really want to do them. I have never wanted to do dishes so badly in my life. Do all the dishes!! I return and it’s time for him to get the mail. He returns.

Now that we have the easy ones out of the way, it is time to take it up to the next level. It’s time to get a little creative here. It might get weird. Keep your mind on the big “W” and prevail.

“Honey, I have to check for owls, I thought I heard one the other night. We don’t need any more hooters around here.” (I know, right? I’m hilarious.) Luckily, when I return the first stage of bedtime is complete. Jammies are on and I successfully avoided the argument about which jammy dress or what character or why the other sister gets the prettiest one. This feels like a win of sorts, but we all know what happens when you start to feel cocky. The game can change in seconds.

My husband has to go to the bathroom again. What the heck? You CANNOT use the same one twice. That is desperately lacking in creativity and frankly, I’m disappointed. There are still plenty of legit excuses to use before we repeat. Try walking the neighbor’s dog, making an IMPORTANT call (which is calling the work hotline and chatting up the recording), and “picking out clothes for tomorrow” which is  hiding in the closet listening to Taylor Swift.

My husband does not return from the bathroom. I do the honors of putting the girls to bed. The first, second, and third times. Yep, you know that stage, right? “I need water!” “I don’t want this toy in my room!” “I need a ukulele!”

I sit and ruminate about the loss. I decide it wasn’t a true win on his part because it was a shady move with the bathroom thing. I decide to confront him about this and I’m not gonna lie, it is going to be awkward because we have never discussed this game out loud before. I’m not even sure he realizes we play this game. This might  be how my husband species goes about his day in his natural habitat.

Before I get the “Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater” out of my mouth he is telling me about having the flu. Fine. I’m going to call this one a draw. Mostly because losing isn’t my thing, but also because according to the rules I made up, getting the flu is not an option.




This post was written by Mandy Waysman exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.

My name is Mandy Waysman. I am the mother of two beautiful daughters whom I love dearly. I am married to a wonderful man who can be very oblivious to the games I make up on the daily. My work can be found at In The Powder Room as well as