1. Walk very slowly up the stairs, bent double with your head leaning on each step as you ascend, dragging your arms like a gorilla. This takes practice, so it’s worth doing it every night and taking your time over it.
2. Sit on the potty and declare you need to do a poo, even if you don’t, then engage your mum in a conversation about what you did that day and what you’re doing tomorrow. Every time she asks you if you’re finished say, “no, but the poo’s coming…” then make a straining noise/face to pretend as though you are actually doing a poo. Eventually she will see through this and force you to get off the potty, but then you can move on to tip #3.
3. Refuse to brush your teeth, then make a dash for your parents’ bedroom and run around/over the bed repeatedly until your mum catches up with you and you eventually have to submit.
4. Insist on a minimum of two bedtime stories, certainly no less, then pick out the longest ones on your bookshelf and negotiate hard to ensure she reads both, from cover to cover. Watch out for any surreptitious page skipping, demand to go back to the beginning of the story if that happens.
5. When you’re finally tucked up cosy into bed, realise that the teddy or doll you simply MUST have in order to go to sleep is the one downstairs in the playroom and beg for that one until your mum trudges off downstairs to get it. Ideally pick one buried at the bottom of a bag of toys.
6. Demand extra bedtime cuddles and kisses – they can never resist this one and it usually adds another minute onto your delaying tactics total.
7. Once the lights are turned off and mum has dragged her weary butt downstairs and you’re confident she’s just hovering that butt above the sofa ready to sink into it and breathe a sigh of relief and put her feet up, shout “POO MUMMY” at the top of your voice and repeat on a loop until she comes upstairs and begrudgingly takes you out of bed and into the bathroom.
8. See tip #2 – repeat.
9. Throw your duvet out of your cot then yell loudly that you’re cold and need your duvet and can’t reach it.
10. Sing your entire repertoire of nursery rhymes, loudly, and then move onto One Direction’s greatest hits with a bit of Robbie Williams’ “Candy” thrown in for good measure.