Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

The bedtime routine has always been tough.

I remember how tiring it used to be teaching a newborn about the difference between day and night. I remember how wild it was trying to wind a toddler down at the end of the day. I remember when Avery was new to a big boy bed and would get up over and over again to try to get out of sleeping...sometimes I would return him to his room 20 times in one night! I remember doing this all at the same time...all in one night...nursing Jack as a newborn, singing Lily to sleep and talking Avery into sleeping for a little while...all at the SAME TIME. I look back at those days and wonder how I survived. But, I did and now my challenges are a little different.

This is our new bedtime routine...

The kids clear the table while Jake makes himself comfy on the couch. I begin cleaning the kitchen. Jake signs folders, checks homework and listens to Lily read...he does all of this whilst still firmly planted on said couch and with one eye on whatever ball game is on. Since half of his attention is on the ballgame and the other half is pretending to listen to Lily read...I am left screaming at the top of my lungs for the boys to get ready for bed...as I have to be heard over the running water since I'm washing dishes, the garbage disposal, the ballgame, Lily's reading and whatever commotion the boys are causing. Every 3 minutes...I scream at the boys which prompts Jake to echo my screams in order to keep up the charade that he is actually helping out! This goes on for about 25-30 minutes. Just about the time that I finish the kitchen, the chaos has crescendoed to an unbareable intensity and I'm ready to explode. Through clenched teeth and with an anger in my voice that would make the devil himself a little afraid...I shriek, "The beatings are about to begin!!!" The children scatter like roaches and the silence that ensues is golden...I bathe in it for a few minutes, then take a deep breath, then go in to finish the job.

When I walk into their rooms, the devil-lady is gone and their Mommy has returned. One at a time, I sit down with each of them. We chit chat for a few minutes, I talk about silly things with Lily, about her friends and what happended at school. Avery and I talk about things that he knows that I surely do not. Jack and I will sing songs and I rub his back. Before I kiss them goodnight, I always ask them..."Who's the best little boy/girl in the whole world?" They will say, "Me?", sometimes quizzically, sometimes they will rattle off a list of other boys and girls just to be silly, then they will smile and say, "I am." Then, I say, "Who's the luckiest Mommy in the whole world?"...to that they say, "You are." I kiss each of them on the bridge of their nose, which is my favorite place on each of their faces...and the day is done.

It's magical...my day goes from utter pandemonium to pure pleasure in a matter of minutes. I wouldn't change a second of it...not the screaming, not the chaos, not the fighting...none of it...for the reward at the end of the day is just too, too sweet!

3 comments:

Kel said...

I feel the same way!!

Nicole said...

Why is bedtime such a pain in the butt?! I feel ya, although 5 out of 7 nights they are pretty easy. Great blog by the way, I will be back.
Nicole

tollesons4him said...

It's the same way in our house, why does it take FOREVER to finally get their teeth brushed, last drink of water and finally in bed? Great post by the way!