My kids are awful at bedtime. They aren’t the most perfect kids during the day; but at bedtime they are horrible monster children. It doesn’t matter if I put them to bed early or late, cut out sugar, read simple bed time stories or put lavender in their baths. Some sort of switch goes on in their heads when they get into their beds and they just get wild. I don’t understand how I used to be able to control 30 twelve year olds and get them to listen to me teach math. Now I can’t get a five and a two year old to stay in bed or just stop talking long enough so they might fall asleep before midnight.
My oldest son doesn’t like to be alone, so instead of getting him a dog (he has allergies) we gave him a little brother and now that brother sleeps in his room. The boys are best friends, bickering old men or conniving maniacal villains; depending on how the mood strikes. The night usually starts with a pattern of saying goodnight that the older child invented. Hug, kiss, high five, double high five, kiss for good luck. Then the other child must get the same. Next the older son says, “Don’t close my door and don’t close your door.”
“Is your door closed?”
“Are you going to close it?”
“Are you sure, cause if there is a fire I will be trapped and die!”
“Go to bed!”
Next the two boys usually start talking about Spiderman, movies and poop. Odd combination, I know. The chatter goes on and on until the big one gets tired and starts yelling at the little one to “Be quiet!”
The two year old keeps saying “diarreah is sticky” and then I hear a “SMACK!” This makes the two year old start hysterical crying; which is awful not because of the hit, but because of the sound. My son cries like a dying seal. (Seriously, that is what it sounds like, a dying seal; gasps for breath and coughs and almost throws up every time he cries. It’s the worst sound you ever heard.)
My husband like clock work runs in the room, “Why did you hit your brother?”
“He won’t stop talking!”
“You were talking too.”
“He was talking more!”
“Well, I’ll move his room then.”
“No! Then I won’t have a fire buddy.”
“Then don’t hit him. And both of you stop talking and go to bed, or I’ll shut the door!”
“Not that! I’ll be good! We’ll be good promise!! Just don’t shut the door!”
My husband comes back in to our room, a twenty step walk down the hallway and by that time the kids are talking about which one of them is going to leave the room.
“We can hear you!” I say.
“Don’t shut your door!” says my son.
“How are we supposed to have sex?” complains my husband.
Ten seconds later my two year old walks in my room. “I have to go pee pee.”
“You already went pee pee.” I say. But then I worry that what if he really does have to go and I said no and then he wets the bed and it’s my fault. So I put him on my potty. Big mistake. He doesn’t have to go. But now that he’s on the toilet, he won’t get off, and he wants a story.
My five year old is next. “I don’t like being in the room by myself, cause what if you forget me if there is a fire. I need to wait for Brother to come back in.”
At this point I get so mad I start to laugh. Who is in control? And what is this kid’s obsession with fire? Speaking of which, when was the last time we changed the fire alarms? Probably years.
This is when I usually tell my husband that these kids are his “clones” and so he should know how to control them so he needs to take care of the situation. After all, I was a quiet kid who always listened to my parents. (Or at least I was scared of them enough not to pull this crap.) He chases both kids back to their room, makes some kind of ridiculous threat about taking away toys (and I’m pretty sure he bribes them with chocolate) then rubs their backs peacefully to sleep…or so we think because an hour later we hear one of them ask “is your door open?”