Bedtime (bed-tahym) n. –
- the time at which a normal person usually goes to bed
- the time at which my children shift gears to FULL. FLIPPING. TROTTLE.
Bedtime around here has always been a bit painstaking. When Gabe was first born, he had serious acid-reflux that, of course!, always triggered at nighttime. His tummy finally settled as he grew and when he was about two he would put himself to bed. He still does this (thank God!), but now he wakes up during the night to either a) pee or, B) have a full-on night terror. Good times, y’all. Connor has never, I mean NEVER, been a good sleeper. Not even now. He’s four and an acrobatic, ass-kicking ninja from the fiery ball pits in the sky. Co-sleeping with him is less like co-sleeping and more training to kick Chuck Norris’ ass — with your eyes closed. To date, Mason has been by far and away my easiest to put to sleep and the most likely to stay asleep — until lately because: erupting teeth. Can’t really fault him for that, and most nights he still sleeps pretty well. HALLELUJER.
Those of you who are parents know my plight well. You probably read all of that and pictured your own sleep-anxiety-riddled spawn and experienced a cold chill down your spine. No, that’s not winter coming; it’s bedtime. In t-minus eight(ish) hours.
For those of you childless individuals, I have a pretty graphic example of what bedtime is like — around here, anyway. I’m sure there will be some Betty Badass momma who is scoffing at my inability to keep my children in their beds (we’re not even going to talk about their pajamas). But this example is coming from a real, live, nannyless parent.
Imagine, if you will, a less-chaotic opening scene from Titanic. “Rated E for Everyone” Rose and Jack are enjoying each other’s company playing, I dunno.. freaking Rook. And then, out from nowhere, an alarm sounds. A band of pirates (read: the children) ram into the ship, causing it to collide with an iceberg (read: your patience). Your recently thought “unsinkable” vessel plummets into the abyss.
THEN SHIT GETS REAL.
I’m gonna let you guys in on a little secret: there is a way to train for bedtime. It’s painful and a bit legendary — but it’ll save at least a few hairs from being ripped from your noggin. If you’re still hangin’ in there, then follow along:
- Journey to the worst part of your town and find a group of stray cats.
- Pick the leader of the cats and bring it home (make sure you’re up to date on your shots).
- Give said stray cat laughing gas and a wine cooler.
- Now try putting that cat in a bubble bath.
- THE FLOOR IS LAVA.
If you can survive that, then there’s a 62% chance that you’ll survive putting children to bed. Notice, please, that I said survive. I didn’t say you’d be successful in getting your kids to stay and sleep in their beds. I mean, I’m not a miracle worker here and Jesus has bigger fish to fry than making my kids stay in bed.
I’m not going to lie to y’all, though; there is something infinitely more terrifying than sleep-allergic children that exists (and oddly enough, my preference). And that is when the kids who never put themselves to bed… PUT THEMSELVES TO BED. Gah, y’all — I just made myself dry heave a bit.
When Connor puts himself to sleep it isn’t because he’s trained himself, or that he’s super tired, or just needs some quiet time (what is that, anyway?!). No, no. It’s because at 1:15AM he’s going to be puking. In his bed. And down the hallway. And then in my slippers — in my room. I mean… I just can’t even. And then after the puking?! He’s totally fine and ready to roll, leaving me a gagging, half-asleep, pants rolled up to my navel hot freaking mess.
You may be thinking, “There’s an obviously better option here, Sarah; pick your battles!”
Oh no, friends. It may seem obvious. Sure, most people would rather be a bit sleep deprived than swim in an ocean of Kool-Aid vomit. But I’m not necessarily one of those people. I can’t say I’m one of those, “If I don’t get my eight hours of sleep…” people, because let’s face it: I haven’t gotten more than 4 hours of sleep (not consecutively) in going on nine years. But I am one of those, “If I can get at least forty-five minutes of sleep I won’t hit anyone with chicken nuggets at Walmart” people. Y’all — I’m not trying to go to Walmart jail for assault with frozen foodstuffs. So as terrifying as it is to watch my kid’s head spin around like he’s in need of an exorcist, all the while spewing what I can only hope was something he didn’t find off of a public restroom floor, I’ll take puking kids over sleep-deprived Mombie any day. Because kids are going to throw up, anyway, and I’d rather be somewhat alert to deal with it.
I can’t be the only one here who deals with that bedtime struggle. Hit me with some of your favorite bedtime stories below!
**The above post was written entirely out of humor. No animals were trapped and given wine coolers or laughing gas, nor were children harmed in the making of this post. I, on the other hand, might possibly have a bruised lung courtesy my ass-kicking ninja child. All crappy, can’t-take-a-joke comments will be kept on this page so that people with a sense of humor can see what a turd you’ve been.