I hear at least one of your offspring is a light sleeper and also requires your presence by their bedside until they have entered REM sleep. How wonderful! Light sleeping and dependency are signs of extreme intelligence (probably).
Of course, that doesn’t make things any easier. You’re trapped in their bedroom right now, aren’t you? You’ve tried to get out four times, but your child somehow stops snoring and wakes up every time you move. Remain calm. I know you’ve been there for several hours, but I have a few tips to help extricate you from your current predicament.
1. Stay low.
Assuming you’re lying on the floor, don’t try to stand up and walk out of the room. I don’t care if your child is sawing more logs than a lumberjack at a logging competition, standing up beside her bed is a recipe for disaster.
Instead, flip over on your hands and knees and crawl a safe distance away from the bed. A safe distance might be anywhere from 5 feet to 7 miles. If necessary, crawl all the way out of the room, out the front door, down the street to the convenience store on the corner and ask the store attendant directions to the nearest deserted island. Use your go-go gadget arm to hook the doorknob on your way out. Open it ever so slightly and shimmy through the gap. This won’t work, but it’s still fun because it makes you feel like a middle-age ninja.
What? Does this sound like too much work? Well, I have one question for you. Do you love your child or not?
2. Replace any squeaky floorboards and recarpet with an extra-thick pad.
While it might seem like replacing your entire floor after your child falls asleep is impossible — just think of all the banging and loud cursing — your fitfully sleeping child is only programmed to wake in response to you trying to desert her. Any other noise, no matter how loud, is actually fine.
So, go ahead and rip up that dingy carpet and bolt down any loose boards that keep foiling your escape. Make sure to use an extra-thick pad to dampen the sound of your movements and the screams you emit as you lie face down, utterly demoralized, practically devouring the plush fibers like it was your last meal as you wail plaintively, desperate for relief.
Don’t worry about getting it perfect. Laying new flooring in the dark is hard. If it’s not perfect, though, it won’t help your escape. And if it is perfect, it also won’t help because your footsteps, no matter how muffled, reverberate with the unmistakable sound of betrayal and abandonment.
3. Work on your core strength.
Let’s face it. No matter how well these tips work, you’re going to be standing up and immediately sitting down when your child startles awake at least 100 times per night. While you’re lying on the floor in the dark trying to answer impenetrable questions your child lobs at you like disheartening confetti bombs, develop your core strength by doing a hundred or so crunches.
“What happens if a dragon breathes fire on you while you’re on the toilet?”
Oh, dear. How are you going to answer that one? Try 100 more crunches while you’re down there formulating a response. Core strength isn’t very useful for escaping the bedroom, but everyone likes toned abs, right?
4. Remove your skeleton.
A recent study found that the leading cause of waking sleeping children while exiting their bedroom was creaking bones. Do you have creaky bones? If so, it’s time to make a change. Kiss that pesky skeleton goodbye and say hello to sweet freedom! Sure, removing your entire skeleton one bone at a time until you’re nothing but a helpless meat sack might sound extreme, but look, do you want to cling to your precious bones, or do you want your child to grow into an adult capable of trusting others and maintaining lasting relationships?
YOU CAN ONLY CHOOSE ONE!
And really, things will be much better without a skeleton. You will no longer creak like a rusty windmill every time you move, and you’ll be blobbing across the brand-new carpet and out of that bedroom in no time. And once you slither and topple down the stairs like a puddle of Silly Putty, it’s a straight shot to the recliner and a date with your favorite Netflix show! Ask your partner to handle the remote though. Otherwise, things might get sticky.