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Author Topic: What to do when 3 year old refuses to go to bed...  (Read 6654 times)
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raydude
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« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2010, 08:25:51 PM »

The main point in my suggestion in bringing up my particular nightlight ( and not just any old nightlight) was not that it would help keep away the scary darkness, but that it would be yet another signal to associate with going to bed. You can substitute any signal you want and tailor it to your child.

For my child it was only a guess that she didn't like the dark. Personally I think she's comfortable with the lights off, she just doesnt want to go to bed. The nightlight turning on at 7:00pm is her cue that its bedtime. Likewise when the light changes to the sun at 6:30am is her cue that its okay to wake up and try to wake daddy and mommy.
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« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2010, 08:32:16 PM »

I'm imagining you are kidding, ibdoomed... but if not, the evidence is directly to the contrary.

Arkon - you may already do this (or your version), and if so, then disregard, but if not...

I think having an established routine with a set of steps that you follow every night is really helpful... it seems like kids this age can be 'surprised' by things, and the reaction to that surprise is usually to get upset, or even really upset! E.g. my wife was going to make cookies while I was walking the dog before I made dinner, and the kid was helping... I came home earlier than expected, so instead of making cookies they waited until I cooked dinner... this 'surprise' was (briefly) quite upsetting, because what he expected to happen suddenly changed.

So in our house we have lots of warnings about impending bedtime ('ok, 10 more minutes, then we're going to go brush teeth, put on jammies, read stories, and go to sleep!', then 5 minutes later 'ok, 5 more minutes, then we're going to go brush teeth, put on jammies, read stories and go to sleep!') and then a set routine... we brush teeth, put on jammies, read stories, then turn on his 'night night' music, and lay with him for the first two songs... he knows that when the third one starts, we're going to get up (these are SHORT songs... so it's less than 5 minutes) and it's time to sleep (if he makes it that long).

I don't know if that would help or not in your situation...

Here are some good links from Dr. Sears (his books have been invaluable in our house)... you probably know a lot of it, but sometimes even that is good if it reinforces what you are trying...

http://www.parenting.com/article/Baby/Care/Ask-Dr-Sears-Sleeptime

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T071100.asp#T071106

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T071100.asp#T071123

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T071100.asp#T071126
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« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2010, 09:45:35 PM »

Every kid is different.

My first was sleeping thru the night after a few months. She would eat almost everything you put in front of her and she was reading chapter books by the age of three.

My second didn't sleep thru the night until she was 1 1/2 years old. She was extremely picky in what she ate and she dislikes reading (turned out to be dyslexic).

My wife and I joke that had we had the second one first we would have never had two.
The fact is you never know what makes a kid do what they do or react the way they react. Different kids react to the same things differently.
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Arkon
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« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2010, 12:55:20 AM »

Well, here goes night #1.  Both kids were bathed by 7:00, we then did hair, teeth and ears, got dressed and spent 30 minutes reading.  I explained a few times tonight that we were going to do a new routine, I don't think she understood what I was talking about.  7:45 we took her in, had her turn out her lights and kissed her goodnight.  The waterworks and yelling started before we could leave the room.
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« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2010, 12:58:38 AM »

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 12:55:20 AM

Well, here goes night #1.  Both kids were bathed by 7:00, we then did hair, teeth and ears, got dressed and spent 30 minutes reading.  I explained a few times tonight that we were going to do a new routine, I don't think she understood what I was talking about.  7:45 we took her in, had her turn out her lights and kissed her goodnight.  The waterworks and yelling started before we could leave the room.

Let the waterworks go.  Repeat the same routine tomorrow.  And the next day.  Within days, as long as you don't cave in, this will stop.  The hard part is not caving in.  When my daughter was pulling this crap, it was almost as hard getting my wife to let the crying go.
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Arkon
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« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2010, 01:03:27 AM »

Quote from: theohall on December 02, 2010, 12:58:38 AM

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 12:55:20 AM

Well, here goes night #1.  Both kids were bathed by 7:00, we then did hair, teeth and ears, got dressed and spent 30 minutes reading.  I explained a few times tonight that we were going to do a new routine, I don't think she understood what I was talking about.  7:45 we took her in, had her turn out her lights and kissed her goodnight.  The waterworks and yelling started before we could leave the room.

Let the waterworks go.  Repeat the same routine tomorrow.  And the next day.  Within days, as long as you don't cave in, this will stop.  The hard part is not caving in.  When my daughter was pulling this crap, it was almost as hard getting my wife to let the crying go.

I just wish it wasn't such top of her lungs screaming.  My wife is struggling to say the least.  I have headphones on and I can still hear her.
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« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2010, 03:22:03 AM »

Quote from: kratz on December 01, 2010, 03:30:51 PM

Quote from: Shinjin on December 01, 2010, 03:01:08 AM

And if she does vomit, when you go to clean it up, completely ignore her.  No talking, no eye contact.  Just take care of the messy sheets/pajamas/whatever and back to bed she goes.

No, no, no, no, no.  WTF it's not a dog.

Obviously, or he would have recommended rubbing her nose in it.... duh....

Anyway, crying IS something you have to get used to.....

You could also get a kinect and make her play a bunch of those games for an hour or so before bed.... My brother came over on Saturday with his 2 little ones and they played for a while and then had one of the easiest times getting them to bed....
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« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2010, 03:53:10 AM »

I have a 4 yr old. All it takes is tough love. Dont give in to them or theyll keep taking advantage smile
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Arkon
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« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2010, 03:57:23 AM »

Well it took a little over an hour, but she finally fell asleep.  Hopefully tomorrow goes a bit smoother.
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theohall
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« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2010, 04:48:01 AM »

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 03:57:23 AM

Well it took a little over an hour, but she finally fell asleep.  Hopefully tomorrow goes a bit smoother.

Tomorrow will probably be about the same, because it's not "routine" yet.  The 3rd day is when you should start seeing a change, as long as the routine is maintained.
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« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2010, 05:45:04 AM »

The house I was at today had a screaming fit, as grandma was there to throw the routine off its track.
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« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2010, 07:00:16 AM »

Good luck!
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« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2010, 07:27:27 AM »

Quote from: theohall on December 02, 2010, 12:58:38 AM

Let the waterworks go.  Repeat the same routine tomorrow.  And the next day.  Within days, as long as you don't cave in, this will stop.  The hard part is not caving in.  When my daughter was pulling this crap, it was almost as hard getting my wife to let the crying go.

The man speaks truth.  Arkon, that sounds like a successful night you had.  Another couple of nights like that and she'll start to accept it.  Just stick with it and things will get easier.  Don't give in!
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Arkon
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« Reply #53 on: December 02, 2010, 01:22:32 PM »

I certainly hope it will get better.  My wife did not handle it well at all.  Friday is gonna be rough as we will have to shift bedtime by about 30 minutes due to having dinner with some friends, but I plan on holding to the same routine as far as bathing/reading/bed goes.
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« Reply #54 on: December 02, 2010, 01:46:52 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 01:22:32 PM

I certainly hope it will get better.  My wife did not handle it well at all.  Friday is gonna be rough as we will have to shift bedtime by about 30 minutes due to having dinner with some friends, but I plan on holding to the same routine as far as bathing/reading/bed goes.

It would be in your and your daughter's best interest to cancel dinner and keep to your schedule without any distractions. Anything you do different will only make things worse for you. Trust me.
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« Reply #55 on: December 02, 2010, 01:52:41 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on December 02, 2010, 01:46:52 PM

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 01:22:32 PM

I certainly hope it will get better.  My wife did not handle it well at all.  Friday is gonna be rough as we will have to shift bedtime by about 30 minutes due to having dinner with some friends, but I plan on holding to the same routine as far as bathing/reading/bed goes.

It would be in your and your daughter's best interest to cancel dinner and keep to your schedule without any distractions. Anything you do different will only make things worse for you. Trust me.

Yeah, unless these are really, really good friends that won't mind the screeching and won't judge you (such people don't exist), it's probably not in their best interests, either.
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« Reply #56 on: December 02, 2010, 02:14:50 PM »

They are very good friends we don't get to see often.  We are supposed to be meeting at a restaurant.  Gonna try to get it moved up so we can still be home and bathed closed to the same time.  My wife and I are not very social, so it is a big deal when she actually makes plans for us to go out and see someone.  I would rather reschedule for another day, but I think I will be getting overruled.
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« Reply #57 on: December 02, 2010, 02:45:17 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 02:14:50 PM

They are very good friends we don't get to see often.  We are supposed to be meeting at a restaurant.  Gonna try to get it moved up so we can still be home and bathed closed to the same time.  My wife and I are not very social, so it is a big deal when she actually makes plans for us to go out and see someone.  I would rather reschedule for another day, but I think I will be getting overruled.

Bad idea.  You might as well plan on starting over tomorrow night.  The most important thing about trying to establish a routine with your kid is to keep things exactly the same while establishing said routine.
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« Reply #58 on: December 02, 2010, 03:14:17 PM »

Yeah, you really need to stick to this routine now, Arkon, unless you feel like starting all over again.  I know you're in a tricky spot, but do what you can.

I assure you, this is going to work.  In a couple of weeks' time your only regret will be not asking for advice sooner.  Have you shown your wife this thread?  Show her our stories, which are all pretty much the same: screaming and crying for a few days/couple of weeks, then blissful through-the-night sleep ever after. smile
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Arkon
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« Reply #59 on: December 02, 2010, 03:33:38 PM »

The one thing I should clarify, once she is asleep, she sleeps through the night.  It is just the getting to sleep part that is tough.

So is the specific time that important overall?  If one night we do the all the same steps at 7:00, and another night we do 6:45, if the order of the steps is the same, does the specific time matter as much?  The truth of the matter is there are many times were we have to be flexible to some degree on times.
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« Reply #60 on: December 02, 2010, 03:42:04 PM »

Spoiler for There is one other option...:
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« Reply #61 on: December 02, 2010, 03:46:08 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 03:33:38 PM

The one thing I should clarify, once she is asleep, she sleeps through the night.  It is just the getting to sleep part that is tough.

So is the specific time that important overall?  If one night we do the all the same steps at 7:00, and another night we do 6:45, if the order of the steps is the same, does the specific time matter as much?  The truth of the matter is there are many times were we have to be flexible to some degree on times.

While trying to establish a routine for your child, one of the most important things is to keep everything constant, not just the time.  If you go out to dinner tonight and she falls asleep without much fuss, she's going to expect going out to fall asleep without a scene.  You're starting at a good time (close to the weekend), but you have to do the exact same thing every night in order for it to become a pattern.

Again, the time is not the only thing that's important, everything else is as well.  Once she becomes accustomed to falling asleep without putting up a fight, then you can start introducing things like going out and staying up a bit past her normal bedtime.  Until then, status quo is your best friend.
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« Reply #62 on: December 02, 2010, 03:59:55 PM »

Quote
So is the specific time that important overall?  If one night we do the all the same steps at 7:00, and another night we do 6:45, if the order of the steps is the same, does the specific time matter as much?  The truth of the matter is there are many times were we have to be flexible to some degree on times.

To offer a counterpoint, we've found with our 21mo daughter that the routine, not the time, is what's important. We normally start her bedtime routine at 5pm with Sesame Street. She then eats dinner at 6, bath at 6:30, 2-3 bedtime stories, and then to sleep. All of those times can be adjusted forwards or backwards as much as need be, as long as those steps remain the same. Now, she's been on that routine since she was 5 mo and it's really never changed aside from the addition of Sesame Street so it's very ingrained, which gives us some more flexibility. However, you should be okay to move the times a little bit at the start as long as the steps remain exactly the same.
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« Reply #63 on: December 02, 2010, 04:14:07 PM »

We just keep our kid in a box. Tongue
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« Reply #64 on: December 02, 2010, 04:31:58 PM »

Quote from: godhugh on December 02, 2010, 03:59:55 PM

Quote
So is the specific time that important overall?  If one night we do the all the same steps at 7:00, and another night we do 6:45, if the order of the steps is the same, does the specific time matter as much?  The truth of the matter is there are many times were we have to be flexible to some degree on times.

To offer a counterpoint, we've found with our 21mo daughter that the routine, not the time, is what's important. We normally start her bedtime routine at 5pm with Sesame Street. She then eats dinner at 6, bath at 6:30, 2-3 bedtime stories, and then to sleep. All of those times can be adjusted forwards or backwards as much as need be, as long as those steps remain the same. Now, she's been on that routine since she was 5 mo and it's really never changed aside from the addition of Sesame Street so it's very ingrained, which gives us some more flexibility. However, you should be okay to move the times a little bit at the start as long as the steps remain exactly the same.

That's not really a counterpoint, though.  You had to establish the routine first.  Time's a part of that.  Now, I'm not sure if Arkon's kid can tell time yet, but her internal clock has an idea of what's going on.  However, I don't know that a half-an-hour is going to make a big difference, as long as you haven't made the time a factor in the routine (ie saying, "It's 7:00!  Time for bed!").  OTOH, going out really throws a monkey-wrench into it.
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« Reply #65 on: December 02, 2010, 04:47:36 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 12:55:20 AM

Well, here goes night #1.  Both kids were bathed by 7:00, we then did hair, teeth and ears, got dressed and spent 30 minutes reading.  I explained a few times tonight that we were going to do a new routine, I don't think she understood what I was talking about.  7:45 we took her in, had her turn out her lights and kissed her goodnight.  The waterworks and yelling started before we could leave the room.



It took two days with my daughter........be strong and send your wife away.  crybaby
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« Reply #66 on: December 02, 2010, 04:49:56 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 01:22:32 PM

I certainly hope it will get better.  My wife did not handle it well at all.  Friday is gonna be rough as we will have to shift bedtime by about 30 minutes due to having dinner with some friends, but I plan on holding to the same routine as far as bathing/reading/bed goes.


My daughter took about 3-4 hours the first night. And it is not really the time that matters but rather the process once you determine it is bed time. Kids get tired, they don't know by time. Stay strong....if it only took an hour you have a good chance of winning this fight.
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« Reply #67 on: December 02, 2010, 05:08:14 PM »

Quote from: Scuzz on December 02, 2010, 04:49:56 PM

Stay strong....if it only took an hour you have a good chance of winning this fight.

Yeah, that's what I meant by successful night.  An hour isn't bad at all so you're starting from a strong position.  The last half an hour before bed, I would occasionally direct my daughter's attention to the clock and say "remember, it's bed time when the big hand gets to the twelve."  It wasn't long before she was fully aware that that's when bed time was, and wouldn't put up a fight.
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« Reply #68 on: December 02, 2010, 05:11:42 PM »

Also, little kids take a lot of pride in being considered "big" boys or girls by their parents.  Remind her before she starts screaming that she's a big girl, and big girls don't do that.  She's 3, so she understands a little more, so you could always pull the Santa Claus card on her.  It works wonders on my 4 1/2 year old.  icon_wink
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« Reply #69 on: December 02, 2010, 05:52:12 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on December 02, 2010, 05:11:42 PM

Also, little kids take a lot of pride in being considered "big" boys or girls by their parents.  Remind her before she starts screaming that she's a big girl, and big girls don't do that.  She's 3, so she understands a little more, so you could always pull the Santa Claus card on her.  It works wonders on my 4 1/2 year old.  icon_wink

What if they are jewish or of some other religion that is very insensitive of you lynch rick   icon_razz
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« Reply #70 on: December 02, 2010, 06:03:11 PM »

Quote from: envy24 on December 02, 2010, 05:52:12 PM

Quote from: rickfc on December 02, 2010, 05:11:42 PM

Also, little kids take a lot of pride in being considered "big" boys or girls by their parents.  Remind her before she starts screaming that she's a big girl, and big girls don't do that.  She's 3, so she understands a little more, so you could always pull the Santa Claus card on her.  It works wonders on my 4 1/2 year old.  icon_wink

What if they are jewish or of some other religion that is very insensitive of you lynch rick   icon_razz

If they're Jewish, they can always guilt her for killing Jesus.   saywhat  icon_lol

lynch envy
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« Reply #71 on: December 02, 2010, 06:04:53 PM »

LOL thats f-ed up.
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« Reply #72 on: December 02, 2010, 06:13:16 PM »

Personally I wouldn't move the dinner date. Go out. Eat. Come home. Put her to bed. And then don't go back in when she starts to cry.

It isn't that she needs the rituals beforehand. She needs to understand that when she's put in bed and it's dark that screaming won't get her parents to come in to the room. Shifting her bedtime by 30 minutes won't change that.
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« Reply #73 on: December 02, 2010, 06:25:20 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on December 02, 2010, 06:03:11 PM

Quote from: envy24 on December 02, 2010, 05:52:12 PM

Quote from: rickfc on December 02, 2010, 05:11:42 PM

Also, little kids take a lot of pride in being considered "big" boys or girls by their parents.  Remind her before she starts screaming that she's a big girl, and big girls don't do that.  She's 3, so she understands a little more, so you could always pull the Santa Claus card on her.  It works wonders on my 4 1/2 year old.  icon_wink

What if they are jewish or of some other religion that is very insensitive of you lynch rick   icon_razz

If they're Jewish, they can always guilt her for killing Jesus.   saywhat  icon_lol

lynch envy


Not Jewish, but don't perpetrate the sham of Santa on my children.  They get gifts from Mom and Dad and Grandparents etc...so I have to agree with Envy... lynch rick

But then again...I should stick with my gut feeling... so lynch Purge because he should always be the first to get lynched.
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« Reply #74 on: December 02, 2010, 06:29:40 PM »

I don't think the time matters *that* much... the routine is what helps them prepare for going to sleep... it's like a cool down after a workout or something.  I can just feel my kid relaxing and calming down as we get to the story time part of the routine.  Obviously there are extenuating circumstances at the moment for you since you are currently trying to establish routine and bedtime, but you can't do the exact same time every night... and as long as your kid is *tired*, then the time shouldn't matter that much.
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« Reply #75 on: December 02, 2010, 06:38:15 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on December 02, 2010, 06:25:20 PM

Quote from: rickfc on December 02, 2010, 06:03:11 PM

Quote from: envy24 on December 02, 2010, 05:52:12 PM

Quote from: rickfc on December 02, 2010, 05:11:42 PM

Also, little kids take a lot of pride in being considered "big" boys or girls by their parents.  Remind her before she starts screaming that she's a big girl, and big girls don't do that.  She's 3, so she understands a little more, so you could always pull the Santa Claus card on her.  It works wonders on my 4 1/2 year old.  icon_wink

What if they are jewish or of some other religion that is very insensitive of you lynch rick   icon_razz

If they're Jewish, they can always guilt her for killing Jesus.   saywhat  icon_lol

lynch envy


Not Jewish, but don't perpetrate the sham of Santa on my children.  They get gifts from Mom and Dad and Grandparents etc...so I have to agree with Envy... lynch rick

But then again...I should stick with my gut feeling... so lynch Purge because he should always be the first to get lynched.

Actually, Arkon, the new rule is to lynch envy first, then ask questions later.  Trust me, it's what's best for the village.
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« Reply #76 on: December 02, 2010, 06:49:38 PM »

Here's the rundown on my thoughts of the villagers:

Time is important, but life happens. Not the best time to start something new, but it might just delay it two or three days for the ritual.

Fact of the matter is you'd have problems regardless so make it work.

And if it doesn't there is always duct tape.
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« Reply #77 on: December 02, 2010, 07:10:07 PM »

Quote from: Purge on December 02, 2010, 06:49:38 PM

Here's the rundown on my thoughts of the villagers:

Time is important, but life happens. Not the best time to start something new, but it might just delay it two or three days for the ritual.

Fact of the matter is you'd have problems regardless so make it work.

And if it doesn't there is always duct tape.

Did the guy who invented duct tape win a Nobel or Pulitzer for that stuff...?
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« Reply #78 on: December 02, 2010, 07:50:14 PM »

Quote from: Scuzz on December 02, 2010, 07:10:07 PM

Quote from: Purge on December 02, 2010, 06:49:38 PM

Here's the rundown on my thoughts of the villagers:

Time is important, but life happens. Not the best time to start something new, but it might just delay it two or three days for the ritual.

Fact of the matter is you'd have problems regardless so make it work.

And if it doesn't there is always duct tape.

Did the guy who invented duct tape win a Nobel or Pulitzer for that stuff...?

No..

Red Green put it best though - Duct tape is like the force; it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

While looking for the quote, I found something else humorous:

Quote
Red Green: Well, I'm not gonna be calling the U.S. Air Force, Harold. What do I say? We've got a missile? They take that as a threat, we're in real trouble.
Harold Green: Well, then, contact the Canadian Air Force.
Red Green: Harold, it's after six; he's gone home.
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"If it weren't for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we'd still be eating frozen radio dinners." - Johnny Carson
Arkon
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« Reply #79 on: December 03, 2010, 03:08:57 AM »

Well, my 3 year old came home today, an absolute grouch.  My wife was furious when she walked in the door.  All I was told is Annaliese spent most of the day yelling at her sister and Jackson, the boy at the sitters.  She had to eat by herself, and then spent most of the car ride home screaming because she refused to thank the sitter for filling her juice cup for her as she was walking out the door, so my wife wouldn't let her have her juice.  She did go to bed in only 35 minutes of screaming tonight, but she did not nap, so I know she was more tired.
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