All moms should be divas...this one just happens to be in Jersey!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The bedtime so long it's almost morning

Kids have long been known for dragging out the act of falling asleep. There's the classic, "I have to go to the bathroom," the tried and true, "Can I have a glass of water." Those are but slim excuses for, well, excuses. Tsk Tsk. So amateur. I've written about the madness that is morning in our home. Lest you think the day smooths out until a blissful end, I will give you a glimpse into the nonstop nocturnal shenanigans.

Bedtime starts with my husband and I blatantly shifting responsibility. No matter what bedtime we set, one of us will "fall asleep" in a chair, walk the dogs, or hop up to empty the dishwasher. He sees my folding laundry and raises it with watering the flowers (In the dark. And we have a sprinkler system). I started training for a half marathon. Nighttime just happened to be the best time to run seven miles.

After resignation that one of us has to do it, it's off to the stairs to the rec room. Each night, there is shock."WHAT? What do you mean it's bedtime?!?! NO it's NOT!" I assure them it is. They insist it isn't. This used to drag on. One night I started cutting the lights. The first night, they freaked out suddenly terrified of the dark, and sprinted up the stairs like bats out of Hell. They tripped over each other, nearly knocked each other down the stairs and terrorized our lab with their screams to the point he ran into the garbage can and nearly knocked over a floor lamp. Alrighty then. That went well.

Even in twilight, they are still raring to go while I trudge through like an insomniac with low iron. This phase is when their sleep avoidance skills begin to shine. Seventy-two passes of Get  YOUR  PA-JAM-AS ON. If you speak another language, please comment with translations. (Pronunciation guide would be most helpful.) They sleep in boxers now, which they're wearing 1/2 the time so easy peazy, eh? No. Clothes go flying everywhere. Clothes they never even thought about let alone wore that day. Nine socks, yet only two children. What's with the football jersey on the chair? Neither of you plays football.

Our sons share a room. We've always been strict with toys in the bedroom. They are just not allowed in there. They get smuggled somehow. Bunk beds are jungle gyms with sheets. No bourgeois sore throat complaints here. On rotating nights, stuffed animals were projectiles to bombard each other. Sheets were ways to lower themselves. The fish in their room were fed four times. Socks are for skating on wood floors, perfect for hockey. They'd get up, go into the bathroom to get a glass of water and dump it on the other. A whole tissue box would be emptied one trip at a time. We never found the tissues, though once I did find a chain made of a new box of feminine products. Bloody noses were not uncommon. Similar to actors crying on cue, Son1 can start a nosebleed spontaneously. I think he purposely does it on nights when I've changed the sheets. Believe it or not, truly unrelated, it occurred to us autographed baseballs were a safety hazard.

One night Son1 decided to surprise Son2 by jumping from his bunk onto the lower "L set" bunk.  Pier1 hadn't planned for this and new mattress supports were rigged at 10:30. That was when Son1 was exiled to the guest room. Twelve months later, his clothes are still in the other room; the guest room is still called the guest room. We tell him he's lucky he's got a place to sleep after the behavior we've put up with. It's really because we've been too busy to bother hauling everything out, repainting, and reloading the room-- but that doesn't sound as parental.

The hall became a rendezvous site. The linen closet was both treasure trove of sleep distractions and a hiding place. Stuffed animal soccer ensued. Tired of going up and down the stairs to chase them, we brought out new artillery: a Fischer Price baby monitor. You'd think a child of 10 would be embarrassed at having a baby monitor. Instead, Son2 goes up to it and sings operatically. By nature, he is as nimble and quiet as Cary Grant in "To Catch a Thief," so some nights he slithers around the walls, swings up to the shelf it's on and turns it off. DAMN those gymnastics lessons.

Vacation is here, which means they are getting a lot more time outside, plus they're in sports programs. Their boisterous bodies are tired, and in the (well-advised) absence of children's NyQuil, that constant fresh air activity is the best we can do to counter their hyperactivity. Like most parents of boys, and ADHD children in particular, we've learned kids and parents need coping skills. I've found that exercise is a good stress release, especially when followed by Shiraz. It's a winning bedtime combination.

18 comments:

  1. Will this be your first half? I'm a runner too! Hopping over from Mom Loop.

    What is it w/ bedtime? We struggle every night to meet that magic 7:30 time ON time. Mostly because I want that free time to myself before going to bed!

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  2. Visiting from Mom Loop. yikes! Makes me once again wonder how the heck my grandmother survived seven rowdy boys... Good luck with the 1/2 marathon :)

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  3. Stopping from Mom Loop! I am so not looking forward to having JDaniel out of the crib. You are living my greatest fears.

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  4. Oh my! we hate bedtimes too, but ours aren't quite as dramatic... yet. Stopping by from Mom Loop!

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  5. Hi from MomLoop :) We start our bedtime at 7:30p during school...by 9p they are asleep! YAY! (insert sarcasm) Hope you have a great weekend!

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  6. Hi from the mom loop! That is one crazy routine, sometimes ours get a little hairy but nothing like that yet, but I am sure it will someday! My oldest always claims he is starving right before he knows we are going to put him to bed, he could have eaten a whole cow and he would still claim he was so hungry, and he is only three!

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  7. We're traveling right now, and our bedtime routine basically consists of waiting until the last child standing tips :).

    Stopping by from Mom Loop.

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  8. I'm visiting from the mom loop today, and I had to laugh at the bedtime routine, especially how you have to emphasis pa.ja.mas. My mom used to say it just like that too!

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  9. Wow- is THAT what I have to look forward to? Right now my oldest (3) thinks up every excuse in the book to get out of his room. Ahhh, there's no hope! Stopping by from mom loop!

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  10. I just have one question - is the shiraz for the young lords, or is it for you and papa E?

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  11. Hi,
    Guess I'm supposed to be stopping by from Mom Loop, but I actually just came from my own blog, so I'd kinda be lying if I said that.
    Thanks for visiting me. I was planning on writing another post tonight but after reading all about your bedtime rituals I find myself EXHAUSTED and in need of some good zzzz's myself. Nice to meet you, night......

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  12. Thanks for the MOM LOOP visit/Follow! I'm following now.

    How eventFUL!! I love the phrase "NOT as PARENTAL" HAH!! I just may have to incorporate that into my vocabulary! (((HUGS)))

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  13. This is hilarious. But you're scaring me. I thought bedtime was rough with a 3 month old, and she can't do half of what you mentioned!!

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  14. love it.....we have soem of that, but now have the 12 year old who is STARVING at bedtime, even though he has eaten an entire box of poptarts since dinner. THe 9 year old has found a 3 day old bug bite that is suddenly bothering him. Luckily, after a few yells of shut ups to his brothers, the 6 year old passes out pretty quickly

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  15. I love the excuses you and your husband come up with to not do the bedtime routine...too funny!

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  16. Goodness! I'm starting to rethink this whole motherhood thing!!!

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  17. (visiting from Mom Loop)
    I can SO sympathize! My son just tonight decided it was going to be 'start the going to bed process at 8, but not fall asleep until 11p'...
    Your husband cracks me up!

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