It often feels like I’m fighting a loosing battle. Every night I set off to war only to have a tiny sniper hiding in the tree waiting to pop me one. The fight is over bedtime.
Long, long ago going to sleep was the toughest struggle of every single day for my then single baby. It wasn’t until my second son had decided to no longer be a POW, when the crib could no longer contain him, that I had to find a better way. “Bringing up Bebe” by Pamela Druckerman gave me the solution I was looking for, it happened to be French.
I started having my boys go through their bedtime routine which ended with the freedom and independence of free reign in their room until their tiredness won out and they put themselves to bed. The only rule was that they not leave the bedroom unless to use the potty. This has worked so well for us over the years even after adding yet another son to the bedroom mix.
So why the hell am I complaining?
Somehow, somewhere along the line I’ve lost the beauty of our bedtime routine and I’m finding myself brought to tears with the late nights and boisterous children. The break from school that is winter has exposed this gaping wound like only it can.
My husband has changed job locations which means he is doing more physically demanding work within his profession that translates to a more intense need for sleep for recovery.
Christmas break means the normal school night bedtime has gone out the window, to the left and is heading south for an early start on Spring Break. 10:30 at night and I am sitting in a tiny, kid butt sized Ikea chair, playing Candy Crush with the screen light set all the way low, waiting for the boys to start snoring and jumping at every outburst in order to quickly quell it.
How have we fallen so far?
What makes it so much more mentally and physically daunting is the memory of the blissful, self soothed nights of the past. I’m not gonna lie, it was damn good.
Sadly facts are facts and the kids don’t care that there are dishes to do, floors to sweep and laundry to fold. They don’t care that the time while they are in their room and I am vegging out in front of the television before I absolutely have to go to bed myself, is the only “me” time I get in a day. The kids don’t care that their father has to wake up at 4am to go to work and that singing “Jingle Bells” at the top of the lungs is frowned upon at 11 pm. Aren’t snippers supposed to be silent?
They don’t care and it’s killing me. I need liberation.
School is right around the corner and if this continues it will be a disaster of atomic proportions getting back to it. In response to that foreboding reality every day this week I have been trying to take as many minutes as possible off of the time they officially fall asleep. One night it’s 10:30. The next 10:15. It’s a game of time that I feel like I am on the loosing end of.
My beautiful, blue eyed, amazing little boys, you do not have to go to sleep. but could you please just lay down and shut the fuck up?!? I’m begging you.
“What’s so civil about war anyway?”