The reasons vary - potty, drinks of water, one last hug - you name it - our children have perfected the excuses.
But one child, well he has made an art out of getting out of bed.
We'll hear him puttering around his room, banging things around in the bathroom, and my favorite - his latest trick - collecting a pile of books and sitting on the floor next to his nightlight so he can 'read' stories. (Because apparently the three LONG stories we read each and every night don't suffice.)
So it usually takes two, sometimes three (and unfortunately sometimes four) trips up and down the stairs to take books away, confiscate toys that have been hidden in the bed-clothes, and remind him that lights out does indeed mean LIGHTS. OUT.
And this can go on, for what feels like hours sometimes....
But we know we're winning - we've finally worn him down - when he finally (at long last) snuggles into the bottom bunk, asks whichever parent is in his room (again) to cover him and all of his animals up.
It's then that he'll reach up, grab on tight for an intense and sweet hug, and say "I want to tell you a secret.....I want you to go downstairs and do some stuff."
And then we know, his night has finally ended.
And why the silly secret? That's my doing. For a while - when he first transitioned into his bunk bed from his crib - he had a hard time (comparably hard time) settling himself and going to sleep. Either Deonne or I would lay down with him for a few minutes - not until he fell asleep - but rather until he was quiet and drowsy. He'd naturally protest when we would get up - and we'd remind him that mommy and daddy have things to do before we can go to bed. (Read - dishes, laundry, picking up - oh, and work...)
So somehow our little man picked up on this - lumped our chores into "stuff" - and accepted that we can't spend the entire night with him wrapped in our arms.
And when he finally relents and is ready to tell us his 'secret' - we know we can finally start on our list of 'stuff.'