One should never underestimate the power that a good, puppy-dog face from one of your children has over your rational thinking process. Never.
In my case, the face was coming from a particular 11-year-old boy, with really long eyelashes.
I thought it was kind of funny that I had to remind him to turn his light off at 10:30 on a school night. Usually he is a lights-out-at-nine-on-the-dot kind of kid and we never have to remind him or check on him to make sure he isn't sitting in his bed, flashlight stuck between his neck and shoulder, covers pulled over his entire body reading late into the night. Not even when he was reading Twilight...
[Yes, I let him read it and no, he wasn't traumatized.]
But on that night, the night he was knee-deep in a new adventure book about a cougar, it was a different story. The next day, when he was animatedly recalling what he'd read the night before, it was as if he were possessed.
He begged, he pleaded, he said he'd do anything to stay up late and read his new book.
I reasoned, I lectured, I explained that staying up that late on a school night was not an option.
I told him that he was welcome to read, anytime, during the day if he wanted.
[What a concept!]
He begged, he pleaded and he whined some more.
I reasoned, I lectured and I repeated what I'd said before.
[This went on and on and on.]
Finally, I had had enough.
"Honey!" I said in my most maternal tone of voice. "You just can't stay up that late on a school night, end of story."
"But, but, but..." He stammered.
"But nothing. I do not negotiate with terrorists."
That shut him up.