Night lights.

Kids, in my experience, never want to go to bed when it’s their actual bedtime. They always want a glass of water, or another story, or to go to the toilet once more, or a hug and kiss on top of the hug and kiss you already gave them, or they can’t find their favourite stuffed toy, or the window needs to be open, or the window needs to be closed, or… You get the idea.

Because of all of these things, my kids have night lights. Because I’ll be darned if I’m going to traipse up and down the stairs fulfilling all of these requests every night. Some of them, like the last-minute bathroom trip, can be managed without me. And for the hugs and kisses? Well, the kids can come find me wherever I am in the house for these. (Unless I’m the one in the bathroom. I draw the line!)

But night lights can backfire. Ostensibly implemented to ward off monsters of the under-the-bed variety and then adapted for the aforementioned post-bedtime procrastination, night lights are now enabling my kids to stay up much, much later than I intended. Miss 10, for example, uses hers to read just one more chapter in whatever book she’s devouring. Master Four builds Lego creations in the near-dark. And no amount of “GO TO BED NOW” seems to make a difference. Even catching them out and dispensing stern looks or words of wisdom (“YOU ARE GOING TO BE EXHAUSTED TOMORROW!” “YOU NEED SLEEP TO GROW!”) doesn’t work. Two minutes later, they’re back to reading and playing.

Miss One Month is a different story – her night light is more to aid me than her. It’s hard to feed a baby at 3am when you can’t see where her mouth is. After a few nights of under-the-breath cursing and fumbling in the dark, my husband installed a night light on my bedside table. (It’s a Death Star. Yes, from Star Wars. Because why not?) It’s the size of a volleyball and takes up my entire nightstand. I love it.

So much, in fact, that the other night when Miss One Month was fed and swaddled and back in her bassinet, I found myself idly turning the pages of a magazine I had left next to the bed. At 3am. By the light of the Death Star.

“What’s going on?” the husband asked sleepily, from his side of the bed. “What time is it? What’s that rustling sound? Are you… READING?”

“I’m feeding the baby,” I replied, willing him to go back to sleep. But no such luck. He was awake now, and I could just make out his incredulous face in the soft grey glow of my Death Star.


What I’m reading this week: Monster Shakes, by Vicki Valsamis (Smith Street Books $28.99)


Have you heard of “freakshakes”? These pimped-out milkshakes are completely indulgent and over-the-top, with other desserts like cupcakes and donuts stuck on top, sauces of every description cascading down the side, and every topping you can think of piled up. Look closely and you’ll see a straw stuck in there somewhere, to remind you that this really is just a humble milkshake in disguise! I’ll confess that when this book crossed my desk, my first thought was “OMG how do you actually eat one of those?” and my second thought was “I am going to get into so much trouble with our readers for featuring this book.” But here’s the thing. Each “monster shake” has a base recipe for a milkshake that is completely do-able and actually not all that bad for you, and then a separate “Monster Your Shake” recipe with suggestions for how to add extra deliciousness if you feel like getting your freakshake on.

The pics are to-die-for, lick-the-page scrumptious. Definitely for those of us with a sweet tooth.

Have a great week.
Katherine Granic

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