1. One glance at the glazed eyes of your precious progeny and you know that the moment has arrived. It's bedtime.
2. You take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the battle ahead.
3. You're strong. You're a warrior. You've got this.
4. You smile at your child. "It's time to go potty, brush your teeth, and put pajamas on. Bedtime is coming."
5. They protest.
6. *Sigh* It begins.
7. In the blink of an eye, your sleepy cherub transforms into a wild beast, screaming as they run in circles around the room. You reach for a bottle of wine.
8. It's potty time. You coax your child onto the toilet, where they sit for 20 minutes before deciding they don't have to pee.
9. So you bring out their toothbrush, but quickly discover that oral hygiene trumps almost everything on the preschool scale of torture.
10. You unleash the mom glare. They brush their teeth.
11. Afterward, your suspiciously angelic child announces their intent to change into pajamas. You smile proudly.
12. Until they begin dancing naked around the room with underwear on their head.
13. After several rounds of counting to three, your preschooler is clothed and tucked into bed. Unsurprisingly, now they have to go potty.
14. They pee, slowly wash their hands, climb back into bed, and ask for a blanket. The blanket should only cover the bottom half of their feet, though. Never let the blanket touch the ankles, or you must begin again.
15. Now comes the reading of the story. Your child will inevitably pick the longest book in the house. Do not, under any circumstances, try to skip pages. They know. They always know.
16. The story ends, goodnight kisses are exchanged, and your darling cuddles into their pillow. You skeptically eye the bed as you inch toward the door.
17. Seconds after collapsing onto the living room couch, you hear a voice from the back room. "Mommy? I love you so much. Will you please come and give me one more hug?" Well played, kid. Well played.
18. Against your better judgement, you walk back in for a final hug. They're only young once, right?
19. It's a trap. Your child is now wide awake and begging for water. "Just a tiny sip," they plead.
20. You cave and bring the water. They drink, hand the cup back, and magically have to pee again. Too weak to risk a midnight sheet change, you allow passage to the bathroom.
21. The kid returns to bed. With a touch of hysteria in your voice, you beg them to go to sleep as you exit the room.
22. Five minutes later, there is silence. You work up the nerve to peek into your child's room. They sleep. You congratulate yourself on a job well done.
23. Until you remember that this whole process will repeat itself tomorrow night.
24. So you top off your glass, remind yourself how much you love your child, and smile. Someday you'll look back on this period and laugh. Today, though, there is wine. Lots and lots of wine.
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