There’s this thing that happens at our house. It’s kind of like a tradition we have. The whole family is really invested in it. We’ve been doing it since the boys were young, actually, and it’s really become a part of our family routine.
Bedtime Is Usually Awful.
This is not necessarily my children’s fault. I mean, about 99% of it is their fault, but I’ll take some responsibility. Children become rather nutball after 7 pm. We all know this. They have teeny tiny clocks inside of them loudly donging away about the upcoming Terrible Time To Sleep.
Yep, little ones, bedtime cometh. Every night. At about seven thirty, I start in on, “For whom the bell tolls… Yep, five year old, IT TOLLS FOR THEE.” For some reason this never goes over well.
I do realize John Donne’s poem is not at all about bedtime. But, maybe, at one point in his life HE had a 5 and 7 year old, and as he was reminding them for the FIFTY THOUSANDTH TIME to brush their TEETH FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU THAT YOU CAN’T REMEMBER THIS? he was able to use that quote. Because he’d be quoting HIMSELF which would be sooooo cool. Except to his kids, because they never care about that kind of thing. They can’t even remember to flush a toilet. Whatever.
I would ALSO like to point out this interesting fact: For the most part, my children have absolutely no ability to manage time. Like, it takes them four billion hours to eat half a bowl of cereal because school is COMING. Can you just SHOVEL it IN and yes, I know the heimlich maneuver, so don’t worry about choking. It’s all under control. Please just EAT we have school in two minutes.
But yet, they know, like with the scary super sensitive spot on accuracy of a 7 year old TIMEX, when bedtime approaches. They just KNOW.
Weirdo children. I read every parenting book on the planet and not a one of them ever told me this. That’s the joy of parenting. For most of it, we go in blind.
Anyhow. So, bedtime.
I go upstairs because there is a lot of thumping and giggling and general frivolity and bedtime does not allow that. It’s serious. And this is what happens and what I learned:
What Happened and What I Learned:
Me: What’s the ruckus in here?
Red: What ruckus? Can you describe the ruckus, sir?
Me: Stop quoting The Breakfast Club, and what is THAT?
Red is in bed, which is good, but he also seems to be in bed with something else, rather large, and suspiciously buzzing. I do not want to know.
Well, yes, I do wanna know. I have to know. This is again one of those things they don’t tell you in the parenting books. In fact, I have a little formula for this:
Parenting = 50% actual parenting + 50% freaked out reaction to gross or scary.
Anyhow. Red then proceeds, with a lot of suspense and flourish, to pull out THREE light sabers, a sword, and also a golf club that he somehow had collected under his blankets. It was like the clown car of weaponry in there. They just kept coming out. I think he also had the cat stuffed down in there, but I lost focus, because next I embarked on another thing they don’t tell you in parenting books:
You will lecture. You will turn into your parents. Your children will not listen.
So, I start in on: “WHY are you NOT settling down? HOW many TIMES have I SAID no sheningans? WHAT are you THINKING?”
FYI: NEVER ask your wee ones “What are you thinking?” We all know it’s not much. When you ask them this it just makes you weak. Also, “Shenanigans” is not a good word to use on them, because they ALWAYS interrupt to ask what it means. Totally steals your thunder.
So, the lecture continues and I am just revving up into part two, entitled:
“So, Tomorrow When You Are Grumpy Don’t Even” when I look over and notice: Red, Blonde, and the cat are all fast asleep. Red is on his back, hands tucked behind his head, all “This is so relaxing,” even.
I then stomp into our bedroom where the husband is watching something about the Royals (the team, not the monarchy) on his phone and because I still have a lot of lecture left in me, I start in with:
“Screens at Night Make You Lose Brain Cells And At This Point You Should Basically Be An Avocado.”
It was a good lecture. I even had graphics and powerpoint to utilize but they were on screens, so I opted for my shrill thing.
And then, I look over, and the Husband is snoring.
And that’s when I learned that my voice puts people to sleep.