Here's the deal. There's a passive-aggressive behavior in children that involves going to bed. Certain things relating to comfort and physical well-being are generally 'allowed' as ways to prolong going to sleep without incurring a parent's wrath and punishment. As the evil Mom, I don't buy these tricks which are usually requests for water. So E knows that Dad will allow her to get a drink and Mom will say 'you should have thought of that before you went to bed.' Sometimes Mom does adjust the rule for events such as pizza (which is very salty) and colds (where one should hydrate). But in general, Mom is tough because Mom sees this as a delaying tactic. A legitimate one, but one not to be encouraged as a way of getting what one wants.
Last night, when I went down to put the girls to bed, shut the hatch and turn out the light, they were all up on the roost, as they should be. It was way past dusk, about an hour after their bedtime. They coo'd when I coo'd. I stepped inside, counted them, closed the hatch. And at that very minute, one of the girls decided she had to have a drink of water. And what seems like a good idea to one chicken will seem like a good idea to other chickens. So in all, three of the girls hopped down off the roost and had a drink of water. Am I their mother or their god? If I'm a god, they're just not very pious.
I tried hard to believe that this wasn't a delaying tactic, that they really needed a drink. As soon as there was a break in the drinking, I switched off their light and counted to ten, then switched it back on again. I did this three times to get the message through. Each time while it was dark, there was some sibling shuffling and changing of position on the roosts, not much talking. Mom means business. First one, then the second hopped back up to the roost. The third (the first one that had hopped down) was much more cavalier about getting back up. But by the third dark event, she got my message.
Good grief. Chicken P/A children.