This isn't the post it was meant to be. I shall probably do that one later. Plus another for good measure because I don't have my PC, and I am hormonal so channeling into writing random stuff helps.
So, we're back onto foxes.
It is bedtime, and chaos ensues. I feel sure other families have these lovely little relaxing sessions where they all sit and read stories and brush each others hair whilst singing Kum Ba Yah(?sp) and sharing about their day.
|*this is said lovely family. Clearly not mine as the boy has no curls and they appear to all be very clean|
Here it is a bit different.
On a good day, we finish dinner, get cleaned up, go up and find pjs. Then the big two go downstairs to watch tv or something, whilst I take Strawb to bed with her bottle and a book, we cuddle and then she sleeps.
30 mins later, she is properly asleep, I read a story to the big two, and then they go to bed - Dude to sleep, B to read from the light in the hallway. Remember her being Sheldon-esque? Her bed is perfectly positioned to get the draft from the window in the summer, and the light from the hallway to read by.
They go to bed in happy harmony and all is well with the world.
Yeah, as with the description of my lounge... that kind of bedtime is few and far between. More often than not, they are like tonight.
We randomly hit overtired an hour earlier than expected (this can be triggered by any number of things from late night the night before, shoddy quality food for a few days, a north-easterly breeze catching the cat's tail on the night of a full moon.... y'know, normal stuff). So then what should be a nice calming soothing activity is already shot to pieces.
It is worse if I am hungry (which turns into Hangry), so I try to make sure I have eaten something by about 6pm as I tend to not have an evening meal until later.
We get in, and it is time for pjs to go on. B "can't find them". Dude wants to "wear what I have on" (my response to that varies based on what he is wearing and what the next day is - I am firmly of the opinion that some battles aren't worth fighting, and as long as he sleeps, I don't care in the slightest what he wears). Strawb wants to "leep on soa" so goes to find a blanket to curl up on the settee as a bed.
I point B in the direction of her pjs and make the call on what Dude is wearing, then drag Strawb upstairs, usually waving a bottle in front of her, hiding the pjs and nappy behind my back. I take her to her room, get her sorted and plonked into bed. No story is good enough as she didn't want to go to bed, so it is invariably "That's not my teddy" as it is 5 seconds long and I have learnt that 5 second story kicks off less than no story.
I give her kisses and cuddles, and the bear of favour, and then leave her to sleep whilst she hurls a toddler version of abuse at me "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! BO'L!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!".
I then tell the other two to "GET YOUR PYJAMAS ON!!" and tell them they have 30 mins to do as they please downstairs or in Dude's room.
I hide with the computer at this point or do dishes, depending on if Adam is here.
I then spend the next 30 mins interceding squabbles about channels, bakugan, xbox controllers...
It is then bedtime. We must yell at me some more about teeth or some such thing. Something will happen, usually rudeness or refusal to tidy anything that they have trashed during that 30 mins, and the bedtime story will be lost. This is generally for their safety as much as mine as they have me wound up and Monkey Puzzle will not be such a happy story when I finish it by explaining that Mummy was gone because the hunters shot her (or some other such ending).
Logically, not letting tired children stay up the extra half hour would make sense, but if they went to bed before, the baby wouldn't sleep.
So, they then go to bed. Dude hates me because he cannot possibly ever sleep without a story and he has just remembered 100000 things he had to do for school that he promised Mrs Kersey he would do.
B "goes to bed well" but somehow manages to magically have Strawb wake up. Funny how she only wakes with B going to bed on stroppy nights.
Dude will yell for a bit until he remembers he is tired and gives up. B will whinge that Strawb and Dude are keeping her awake. Strawb will yell for a bottle for about 2 mins before she remembers she was asleep and passes out.
I give them all a kiss, tell them I love them, and walk away. Preferably to be handed a glass of wine and given a hug on those nights when I am not playing this game alone.
My lack of bedtime tolerance is another reason for guilt, but I guess some of us just aren't cut out for it. Bedtime is bedtime, I am done then. Some parents enjoy evenings with their children. For us though a) They need a lot of sleep - they will sleep about 11 hours most nights, and b) I need that gap of the day where I am not being asked a million questions. I need a couple of hours switched off.
I love the nights when bedtimes work, but at the end of the day, I kiss my babies every night and tell them I love them, even if they are screaming at me... that is what matters.