I’ve had it with their nuanced and not-so-sneaky ways of staying up past the time I’ve deemed their bedtime. I clock out before I totally lose it and clock them.
My children are wily, beastly beasties. They stop at nothing to spend one last minute awake and up in my grill before succumbing to the blissful unconsciousness of slumber. It gets under my skin, and instead of begging, pleading, and getting all Cruella DeVille on their precious behinds about following my simple direction of GOING TO BED FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY AND SACRED, I sit, mute, and silently will them to self-soothe and get it done already.
Five minutes of prayers turns into twenty minutes of unmaking the beds, brushing each tooth methodically, putting away that one toy that they forgot they had, plugging in the gadget to recharge for tomorrow. Then another five minutes of “Good night Mom” and “Do you want the hall light on?” and “What is the weather going to be like tomorrow?” and “I forgot to do that thing in the place that I forgot to do the other day.”
If you’re strong and possess complete sanity, one night of these never-ending shenanigans is enough to make you blindly grasp at its vestiges.
If you’re not, and you’re me, you stupidly dream about a glass of wine and heavenly silence while your kids say goodnight one more time.
I’m painting a terrible portrait of myself, I guess. I’ll be sorry one day when my kids come home with an attitude bigger than the one I sported in my own wonder years, where they’ll storm up to their rooms and lock the door behind them, and give me the silent treatment that I probably deserve.
It’s not that far off. They simultaneously break my heart every day anyway, which they’ve done since the day they came into this world. I’m still not sure whose idea it was to have these kids, to choose to make something that will alternately lift and sink me a hundred times a day.
I’m joking, of course.
But you can be sure of this: one second after they’re quiet in their beds, I tiptoe down the hall to make sure that the lights are off, they’re comfortable, and that they’re sleeping. A kiss on the forehead and I’m at peace, hoping that I’ve done the best I could today, and that it was enough for them.