So back to teaching after a week off the job. Notice I didn’t say time off? Seriously, when is a mother ever off? So back to the daily grind of working, coming home, making dinner and lunches for the next day and so begins the process of getting the kids ready for bed.
I know I am not the only parent out there who dreads putting their kids to sleep. Is there some sort of energy out there that kids just absorb when they hear the words “time to get ready for bed”? I swear they start jumping off the walls! After telling them for the millionth time to brush their teeth, I end up yelling it at the top of my lungs that I am sure the neighbours started brushing their teeth. Then both kids run to the bathroom at the same time and it turns into all out war about who brushes first! Once a peace treaty has been negotiated, they both head into bed and I walk into their bathroom. Did a pipe burst in here? Why is there water on the mirror and ceiling? Did someone give the kids the Heimlich manoeuvre when they were brushing their teeth? Let’s pretend I didn’t see that and slowly back out of the bathroom and turn off the light.
Now it is a matter of putting on pyjamas on a fish suffering a seizure, or at least that is what it seems like. Somehow the words “do not jump on the bed” is heard as “let us put on a Cirque de Soleil performance”. I pulled out 5 new white hairs today; just saying.
Let us not forget that there is a lot of yelling during this whole process and occasionally tears…mine and theirs. Bedtime routines are supposed to be calm, relaxing and zen. Ours are a battle to the death. Finally, both are in bed and we start reading the stories. An hour and a half after we started this whole process, we kiss the kids goodnight and turn off the lights. FYI, there is also an 11 month old baby crawling all over me during this whole event.
Then I proceed to put the baby to sleep, which also takes around an hour to complete. I walk into our room and plop onto the bed only to realize that I have not brushed my teeth nor washed my face or taken off my lenses. So up I go again to do all that because, let’s face it, I can’t afford to need dental work. Once I am done, I collapse onto the bed ready to wind down and fall asleep. Then I hear soft footsteps enter our room and our son walks in and utters the dreaded words “can you sleep with me?”. No! No freaking way! We just spent 2 hours putting you to sleep so there is no way on this earth or in heaven I am spending more time with you in your tiny bed so my back can kill me the next day! So take those little legs back to your bed and get some %$*#$% sleep! I didn’t actually say that to him but I sure was thinking it. I put on my calm mommy face and told him to return to his bed a million times over. Did he go to bed? Nope. He just stood there waiting until one of us broke. He called our bluff. My husband got up and went with him.
Now guess what happened? All that commotion woke up the baby. I want to cry now. So up I go and enter the nursery to begin the one hour process of putting him back to sleep.
This is not a one time event. This is EVERY night. I read every book about this sleep method and that sleep method to no avail. I guess I am just going to have to wait it out until they are teenagers when I am going to reverse the process and drag their butts out of bed. Something to look forward to, I guess.
Children are a blessing. Just repeat that in your head enough times and you’ll end up believing it. I love my babies.