I would have started this post earlier, but I was putting my kids to bed....for the 35th time. Why is it that my favorite part of the day is their LEAST favorite? It is not like we were doing anything that fabulous that would make them want to stay up. But nonetheless, every single night it is the same thing over and over and over..starting at 7:45 pm our night slowly and painfully unravels....with one child especially. The master of bedtime disaster...
Me: Bedtime in 15 minutes
Spawn: Awww...how come?
Me: Because we go to bed every night
Spawn: Can't we just stay up a little big longer?
Me: No, because it already IS a little bit longer and you guys never want to get up in the morning
Spawn: That's not fair. Michael doesn't have to go to bed until 9
Me: Then go live at Michael's. I'll help you pack
And on and on...and this is when I realize that my children have been blessed with my bargaining, marketing and yes, my procrastination, umm...skills. We roll through the never-ending and increasingly creative list of "If you let us stay up for 10 more minutes...." Let's see...I have heard everything from "we will get up right away in the morning all the way, we will buy you a goldfish with our own money, to(and this is where their brilliance kicks in) we will not tell dad that you got pulled over in front of school for running the stop sign." Masters. But no deal. They were dually surprised and disappointed when I noted that I had already told dad...Now get in bed! Their look of desperation is almost precious and their little brains start functioning at a critical level "I forgot I had something in my backpack for you to sign!!" Ok, I will sign it in the morning. Damn....foiled again. 8:10pm "Can I sing you the song that we are practicing for our school program?" Nope, because then it would not be a surprise for me at the program. Shit. "Well, I want you to know the words so you can sign along!" Well, the program is for first graders and mommy is not a first grader. You can almost see the hamster on the wheel....shit shit shit. Now what? The little brain is buzzing....humming. It might burst. He is running out of ideas. I am walking in the direction of the bedroom when lightning strikes "I LEARNED HOW TO DO A SOMERSAULT TODAY!" You've known how to do a somersault since you were 2. NOW GET IN BED! The defeat takes over his whole body as he slumps over and shuffles towards the bed. Stall, stall, stall....he finds a lego on the way that needs to be put away right this very second and not a minute later. Never mind that this lego has been sitting in that spot since I almost vacuumed it up last week, but he is getting desperate. "I need to put this away!" No, you can put it away later, just put it on your dresser for right now. "But you said you don't want a bunch of crap on our dressers." Damn, they can hear. Praise the Lord. But NOW is when we want to get tidy? Very handy. Hell no. 8:20 And for a few minutes, which seem like a snippet of eternity, we discuss for the 8 billionth time why it is bedtime. "Let's sing a song. Can you scratch my back. How come we didn't read three books tonight? Can I tell you about my school day? Why don't ants have cars? How do they make cardboard? Why does grandpa have hair in his ears? Can you lay down with me?" And then I bring down the hammer....TIME FOR BED!!! 8:30....not bad. But OH!!!...don't count him out yet. He'll be back....and 5, 4, 3, 2,1....there is the sound. The thud. The not-so-sweet pitter patter of feet. The slow soft creaking of the bedroom door. 8:31pm "Mom, do we have school tomorrow?" Yes, you do. Now get in bed. 8:33pm "Mom, when we go to Florida, can I pet a dolphin?" Sure, but we aren't even planning a trip to Florida. Now get in bed. 8:35pm "How come we aren't going to Florida?" IS THIS KID FOR REAL??? Because, we aren't...NOW GET IN BED AND STAY THERE!!! And I must have been mean and gotten my point across, because he did stay there, for a record breaking 4 minutes. 8:37pm "I need a drink please." At least the urchin said please. "Fine, but small one because I don't want you to have any accidents." 8:39pm "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom." UNF*@$%INGBELIEVABLE!!! Fine. GO AND THEN GET IN BED!!! So, the small victory; he does get in bed and stay there but this is when the "mommy" beckoning kicks in. It starts out small...almost inaudible, but the more I ignore it, the more it grows in volume....and pure irritation. 8:42 "mom...Mom....mOM....MOm....MOM...MOMMY!" What do you want? "I'm sorry, it is important...how come fish don't catch colds?" WHAT THE FU--!!! "Buddy, I am not sure why they don't, but I am not sure" ...wait...I stop myself. Am I ACTUALLY engaging in this discussion? BUDDY -GO TO SLEEP!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS! 8:43 "mom....Mom...MOMMY" WHAAT??! "Ok, if a dog only has three legs, will it's puppies only have three legs?" This kid is wanting me to go and literally eat a whole box of wine right now. Am I being punk'd? If Ashton F-ing Kutcher jumps out right now, I am going to go all ninja-style on his ass and let HIM put my kid to bed. That'll teach him. I am there. I have reached the edge where homicide and suicide shake hands and meet. But, hang tight friends...it is not over.
Just as I feel that I have won the battle (I have a very loose definition of "winning") I hear it...the unmistakable impish voice "mommy?....MOmmy?....MOMMY?" Rage takes over. My lid has burst. Steam is pouring out of my ears and my eyeballs I am pretty sure are about to jettison clear across the living room as I very deliberately stomp down the hallway, and to further exclaim my disapproval, I slam open the door...who the F cares, no one is asleep anyway...clearly! WHAT DO YOU WANT NOW??!!!!!!...........................and there it is, very sweet, quiet, whispered as if directly from the tongues of angels "I love you mommy." And I melt, although I know, OH DO I KNOW, that this is NOT what he had planned on telling me. It was going to be something much more important, like "Can I be a semi-driver when I grow up? Can my name be Bob instead? or Who makes brooms? or On Halloween (yes the one that is 9 months away) can I be a giraffe?" But being the savvy genius that he is, he got me. He won. "I love you too pal, now go to sleep please." It is 9pm. I guess he can go and live and Michael's another day.
***We'll be posting our winners in a separate post in a bit so be sure to check back!!!***