Once my kids surpassed the age of nighttime feedings or toddler bed fiascoes, I felt like we were in the clear. I had day dreams of consecutive hours sleeping in my own bed with only my husband to steal the blankets or touch me with his cold, clammy feet. My kids are old, not 30 and living in my basement old, but old enough to have bedtime routines. Old enough to get their pajamas on without a meltdown or me having to negotiate iPad use for teeth brushing. With all that said, I am negotiating iPad use with these people, I am fighting about pajamas and I’m dreading that moment when the clock strikes 8:30 PM. That is the time when they go from jovial little balls of love to Gremlins, without the microwave.
“Please go upstairs and get your pajamas on.” Mr. 7 begins screaming or I hear a preteen grunt that could crack a windshield.
“Brush your teeth, please.” They wander the bathroom looking for some magical time machine that will take them to Disneyland. “Look Mom, this soap has a piece of hair on it.”
This is where I lose my shit. “Get your toothbrush and put some freakin’ toothpaste on it…NOW!” Guess what? Even my angry mom routine doesn’t phase these people, it only fuels their fire of prolonging bedtime. My teeth begin grinding as I watch Mr. 7 spend five minutes examining the bristles of his toothbrush as he attempts to squeeze the bottle of toothpaste with the lid still on. He begins to laugh, I begin to cry and Miss 11 is rolling her eyes so far back in her head, I’m curious if they will stay that way. The slower the better for these folks and after twelve hours of brushing teeth it’s time to start fighting about pajamas.
Here I will share with you some special tricks, from my children to yours, to help you have the worst possible bedtime you have ever had.
1. Once you have finished with your teeth and have intentionally made it the longest expedition ever, quickly run to your bed, crawl under the covers and cry loudly. This will avert your parent’s attention away from the pajamas and force them to focus on the sadness you feel at being a child.
2. Refuse to take off your jeans and make this argument when pressed about pajamas, “They are all clothes so what does it matter if I sleep in this?” Scream loudly so the neighbors wonder if your parent is as mean as they look.
3. When you are close to winning the fight and you can tell that your parent is almost in tears, cease all crying immediately and scream “Fine” as you jump off your bed and make a grab for the pajamas.
4. Now the real fun begins, because whomever is putting you to bed is the wrong person for the job. Request anyone and everyone besides that villainous person standing beside you. “I want Grandma or Dad or Sister or the Pope. Not you. I don’t want you in here.”
5. It’s too late to salvage what you have already lost (iPad time, friend time, TV time) but you can make sure to really stick it to these people who brought you into the world, it just takes six easy words. “I wish I lived with Grandma.”
There you have it, a guideline to help you instill horrific bedtimes with your own children. It’s really as easy as it looks and can make you feel like the worst parent on the planet for a couple of hours every night. After bedtime and while I’m hooked up to a wine IV, I’ll check out social media and see people posting pics of themselves at a movie premier or new restaurant that I have been dying to check out. Due to the previous bedtime shenanigans, I say something like “Hope you are having a blast!!! Stuck inside with kids who hate me. LOL” The LOL indicates that this is a funny situation and that there is no cause for concern. Tomorrow is a new day and that gives us 20 hours of happy before the Gremlins come out again.