by humanmama on January 5, 2014

Having kids isn’t so bad. It’s pretty rewarding, actually, and there are times that it’s all sit-on-my-lap-and-cuddle. We do read books together, and we do take walks together. We play hide ‘n’ seek, and the kids shriek with laughter and we sing Bob Marley and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” on road trips and it’s generally the stuff of movies and sitcoms. There are hard times, and there are easy times but generally it’s pretty okay with a side of marvelous and it’s a pretty smooth family machine around here.

Until bedtime.

Bedtime is the bane of my existence. I don’t use that phrase lightly. Okay, actually I do. But still, bedtime is the BANE of all banes, and it’s really something that makes me totally insane. It takes me (fairly patient) and turns me–in only about an hour–into a totally other person, sort of like a homeless woman with schizophrenia who mutters irrational things to herself while taking swigs from a pretty scary looking bottle of Robitussin. I hate putting the kids to bed, haaaaaaate it, and I’d pay just about any amount of money to make sure it never happens again. I can wake them up, shower them, joke with them, get them ready for school, do all the french braiding in the world, rush here and there to lessons and practices, teach them about good music, do homework, bake cookies, do science projects, dance and sing, make freaking pizza dough, read to them until the cows come home but please don’t make me put them to bed.

The Carp and I both know how terrible this time is and play a mental game of “rock/paper/scissors” for the duties every night. We don’t say anything at all but we both know the other one is thinking it–pleeease not meeee. There are ages that are better and worse, too; the baby is right now too big to be breastfed or on bottles but too little to have excuses/tell us he needs a drink/ get out of his crib, so his bedtime ritual is about 10 minutes. Maybe 2, if it’s a late night. But the ages of 4 and 7 are a totally other story, and–unless you lenasick124like killing three hours a night–it’s going to be rough.

However. (You knew there would be a however, right?) I’m not an idiot. I know exactly how I’ll be feeling later, when they’re teenagers and smell like BO and angst. I’ll be (oh lord) thinking I miss that time, even though I hate to admit it. I’ll be wondering why I didn’t spend a few more minutes a night scratching backs, or singing songs, or reading books. I’ll be wondering why I never wanted to sing Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra! to Helena, even though she loves that Irish Lullaby (and even though we’re not Irish). And why I didn’t listen to Lilly talk for 5 or 10 more minutes about whatever she wants to talk about.

So I do it again. The bath. The teeth brushing. The stories. The songs. The bed. And I try not to be too crazy about it, even when they come downstairs for the hundredth time saying “MMmmaaamaaaaa?” I try to be patient. I want them to remember me patient.

You know what would help–has anybody got any Robitussin?



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