I’ve got bedtime on the brain. This is probably because a) I’m sleep deprived, and b) I don’t even know what I was going to say next. Seriously, I’m so tired.
Bedtime at our house is not something we mess around with. We honor it. We fight for it. We believe in it. Bedtime is our sanity. It is that golden period in a parent’s day that shimmers in the dusk like a refreshing drop of dew, and is just as fleeting.
The primary reason I yearn for my children’s bedtime with such fervor is that it comes on the heels of the witching hour. This refers to the post-dinner exhaustion-frenzy when everybody behaves like banshees, including me. Actually, especially me, considering that in folklore traditions a banshee is feminine: a wailing female spirit darkly foretelling somebody’s doom.
Yes, I’m definitely the banshee.
My children have this irrepressible tendency to dig in their heels and resist transitioning from daytime to slumber. But Jeff and I are just as tenacious about making bedtime happen. We are united in our cause and push onward like a freight train. We adhere to a strict routine, for the benefit of a couple of boys who need structure and predictability. We keep it simple: jammies, teeth-brushing, potty, and prayers. And we include a magic melatonin-laced Oreo for the one who otherwise just can’t shut it off.
Sometimes it all goes swimmingly. But not yesterday.
Last night I faced bedtime alone as Jeff was working late into the evening. The witching hour was a real doozy, and I had my eye on the prize: a quiet space in which I could read and eat dark chocolate coconut almonds straight out of the freezer. My sons did not share my vision, unfortunately. They threw everything they had at me.
Bedtime was a ruse, a mirage. It was an unfortunate figment of my hopeful imagination. It literally dragged on for hours.
At one point, as I was coaxing the two youngest into a quiet, restful state, Jeff texted me from work saying, “Jack is pooping.” My husband, forty-five minutes away in the bowels of some hospital, had checked his phone app which shows live video feed of the Jack Cam, and found Jack laying a brick on his bedroom floor.
By the time I got to the scene of the….incident, Jack had helpfully picked it up and tossed it into the hallway for me to dispose of, which is a creative new take on the Code Brown.
Props to Jack for keeping it fresh and new.
But not fresh and clean.