My newly turned three year old Selah is a PRO at fighting sleep. Seriously, she has some rather interesting techniques. During a particularly grueling nap that did not happen earlier in the week, I started thinking that if I was as good at avoiding sleep as she is, I might never sleep. I could get all kinds of stuff done. I realize many parents fight this same battle, so the next time you find yourself needing to stay awake here are some of Selah's tried and true methods:
1. Do not stop moving. For any reason. Even if you can just keep your big toe twitching, that's probably enough to keep your whole body awake.
2. Should your mother tell you in her Very Serious Voice that you must keep your hands and feet still, contort your face into all sorts of strange and wondrous expressions. Someone might be able to hold your hands and feet still but eyebrows can't be stopped.
3. Ask your mother the name of every single one of your friends' mommy and daddy.
4. Then inquire if the friend has brothers or sisters.
5. Go ahead and ask if they have pets, too.
6. Classify your friends into groups. My favorite one of Selah's: Friends Who Pee Standing Up (aka boys) and Friends Who Pee Sitting Down (aka girls).
7. Sing. Even if you are so tired your words run together and you sounds like a drunk, don't give up. Things are just getting interesting.
8. Should anyone come along and offer you a friendly snuggle to aide in the sleep process, scream at the top of your lungs that they are CHOKING you. Remember, your goal is to stay awake, not fall asleep and anyone with different plans is clearly the enemy.
9. Should you accidentally fall asleep, make sure you are draped across the windpipe of the person helping you get to sleep so that you actually are choking them. Then wake up as soon as they shift you off and start the whole process over.
10. Lick your arm. (Disgusting!)
11. Lick somebody else's arm. (even more disgusting! But effective.)
12. Count your fingers and your toes. Repeatedly.
13. Count your digits in every language you know. For Selah, this is English and Spanish. Thank you Dora and Diego.
14. Get somewhat still and close your eyes long enough to instill hope in the heart of whoever wants you to sleep. Then shout "AM I ASLEEP YET?"
15. Do your best impression of a worm crawling through hot ashes after drinking a java.
16. Poke someone in the eye. Hard.
17. Ask someone to tell you a story. Then interrupt them to explain they are telling it wrong. Argue with them if they don't believe you.
18. Pretend you are scared of something.
So there's her list. I'm sure I could add to it later as more things come to mind, or as more sleep avoidance methods come to her mind.