I have decided to stop fighting with my kids about bedtime. I've been Sisyphus for far too long here trying to get my kids in bed by 7:30. For anyone who doesn't have children, this seems to be a no-brainer. Right? I mean, who fights with a 3-year old, let alone 2 of them. Just tell them to go to bed! Everyone who has kids has already sighed and poured a drink.
Here's what bedtime looks like for the un-initiated:
6:00pm: children run amok while I try to clean off the table and wrangle leftovers. When I say 'run amok' don't for a minute think I'm exaggerating. I may be prone to hyperbole (what?! I know. me! of all people. stretching the truth for entertainment) but Z actually does "running exercises" after dinner. If C won't join her in her mad dash from the front door, through the dining room, around the kitchen island and back, she just steals "stinky pink" blanket and C is forced to chase behind her crying and screaming for justice.
6:30pm: I inform children it's getting close to bath time and to please start picking up their toys. This causes immediate deafness and the inability to walk or put any toys away. Ever. When I threaten to throw away toys that have been strewn around the floor, I am cursed in secret twin language of 'Diggi'. Don't worry, even if you can't speak Diggi, you know when you've been told off. Much like Italian, there are hand gestures.
7:00pm: The Poseidon Adventure begins. Some of you may call this bath time. Make no mistake, people in the first three rows WILL be getting wet. and not just an errant splash or two. Sometimes whole buckets of water slosh over the side of the tub onto the "bather" I try to save this particular joy for when H is home or grandma's here, but it's summer and we're extra stinky when it's hot out.
7:30pm: Attempt to wrangle wet children out of the tub and into pajamas. Again with the immediate deafness and inability to walk or control any of your limbs. Also, there is the torturing of the cat to be done. No evening is complete without having to pry a retaliating furry blender off of someone's naked back, while someone else is kicking you in the chest to avoid the evil that is pajama pants.
8:00pm: (have you noticed that it's 2 hours since we started?) serve snack of warm (not too hot, not too cold, just right...) chocolate milk and graham crackers. sometimes this also involves a 'story' typically the three little pigs or bears or occasionally Rapunzel but with alternate endings that Daddy made up. Some of which I don't know.
8:15pm: Cajole, beg and finally scream at short people to get up the stairs. This is made more difficult by the aforementioned leg disorder. Then you start again by trying to herd them into the upstairs bathroom to brush the graham cracker crumbs out of their teeth. Eventually you grab them by the forehead and much like the old "flip-top head" toothbrush ads, manage to scrape most of the cookie off.
8:30pm: Finally fling children into beds. Sit on the floor in between two toddler beds and read two stories (as we cannot agree on ONE story, we must each pick our own) frequently stop reading to tell people to get back in bed, move their heads from in front of the book, or answer any myraid of questions about the illustrations.
8:45pm: Turn off light, turn on star-turtle, turn on sound machine and sit on one bed to sing a song. then sit on other child's bed to sing HER song. Give kisses, answer 16 more questions, hear 4 secrets and 1 "serious problem". Turn on ipod lullaby playlist, blow an even number of kisses from the door. attempt to sneak out of bedroom with out letting the cat in. Lock gate at the top of the stairs and trip down the first 3 steps as cat has been waiting for you. maliciously. He has not forgotten who's side you took during the cage match earlier in the dressing portion of your evening.
9:00pm: Fall on bed. Remember laundry. Write list of things you didn't finish doing. pour large glass of wine. fall asleep before you can drink it.
As you can see the entire thing takes me about 3 hours to do on my own. I swear that I am not stretching the times on this at all. So you tell me, save skipping the bath (which I do, quite frequently in the winter) how on earth could I get them in bed any earlier? So I've decided I don't care. what's the difference? they sleep until 8:30 or 9 in the morning and I can get up before them and start whatever I need to get done for the day. But for some reason, i feel like I am falling short in the "getting people to bed at a reasonable hour without screaming" department.
In an unrelated note, Sam the Man just heard H close his car door in the driveway and jumped up to greet him at the door. and possibly rat me out for my poor conduct. He's a vengeful bastard and I even gave him a mouse toy with feathers to play with today. Feathers, for God's sake! It's really not my fault that C threw it somewhere he can't seem to locate. She hides stuff at my mother's house that we're still looking for. She's good at that. But crap at remembering. Which is why I spend an inordinate amount of time scouring the house for Stinky Pink and find her in cookware, my sock drawer, a bin of dress up clothes, on the bookshelf and in my shoe.
And people wonder why I drink.