Distraction and bribery are my two most often used parenting tools. However, the older my kids get, the more creative I need to be with these tools. Gone are the days that I can shake my car keys in front of their faces to stop them from crying.
Palmer is a pro at delaying bedtime. He knows how to draw out every part of this bedtime routine, and every once in a while will out right refuse to go to bed. Unfortunately, our go-to parenting tools of distraction and bribery aren't always beneficial at bedtime, since often they involve adding a new activity or treat, which thereby delays Palmer's bedtime even more.
Palmer's goodnight kiss, thanks to his talent at drawing out the routine, has become multiple kisses: one on each side of the cheek, one one the lips and an Eskimo kiss, or in Palmer's words a "nose kiss."
We've also invented other kisses during some difficult bedtimes. Such as the dinosaur kiss, one of Palmer's favorite kisses. A dinosaur kiss involves Greg or I giving Palmer a kiss while growling like a dinosaur.
One night, when Palmer was throwing a fit about going to sleep, I told him once he calmed himself down, that Daddy had a very special, surprise kiss for him. I really talked it up, and Palmer took the bribery bait, calmed down and said he was ready for bed. I then watched Greg slowly walk to Palmer's bed with a perplexed look, trying to muster up some fun kiss his son would enjoy. Greg gave Palmer the usual kisses one on each cheek, one on the lips, a "nose kiss," and then emphatically exclaimed, "Butt kiss!" and shoved his behind in Palmer's face. I suppose that's what a get for putting a Dad of little boys on the spot. Palmer of course, loved it and was happily giggling as we closed his bedroom door for the night.