So last night was a real shit show in our house and I’d like to tell you all about it.
7:00 pm: The kids and I got home from activities and a dinner out consisting of the four food groups: beige protein, beige carb, ketchup and milk. They were all hyped up and acting very silly and from the time of 7:05 to the time of 8:15 pm, I may have said all of the following things:
- Please take the underwear off of your head.
- Please stop taking the underwear off of your body.
- Please brush your teeth.
- Remember, we don’t eat the toothpaste?
- You should brush really well, because we’re going to the dentist tomooooorrrow….
- It’s fine to wear pajamas out of the dirty laundry basket.
- You’re going to lose our special reading time if you don’t take the underwear off of your head.
- Did you brush your teeth?
- There are no sheets on your bed because you peed in your bed last night.
- There are ALSO no sheets on your bed because you ALSO peed in your bed last night.
- I know you feel very sorry about that. I feel very sorry, too.
- Have you watered your hermit crabs at all lately?
- TAKE. THE. UNDERWEAR. OFF. YOUR. HEAD. AND. BRUSH. YOUR. TEETH.
Scare tactics? CHECK. Passive guilt? CHECK. Inappropriate punishment? CHECK. Raised voice? CHECK.
OK, so finally, by 8:15, they’re all in bed. So I thought.
8:18 pm: I came downstairs, picked up the 4,731 cars that were lying around my kitchen and family room as some sort of elaborate obstacle course, designed so that I would slip on one and fall flat on my back like a cartoon character and be too injured to take anyone to the dentist today.
8:30 pm: Once the automotive mine field was clear, I cleaned up the rest of the toys.*
*Usually toy clean-up is part of our pre-bed ritual, but sometimes it’s just easier to do it myself than deal with watching their painfully slow process.
8:40 pm: I made myself a cup of hot tea and was all set to watch the latest episode of Scandal. (Don’t judge… at least I don’t watch [what YOU were watching last night.]) As I sat down on the couch, I knocked over the cup of hot tea and it went flying. I managed to hit 18 different surface areas with one goddamn mug of tea and it took me longer to clean that up than it did the 4,731 cars.
8:55 pm: OK, Scandal… here we go… I hit play and…
8:56 pm: Happy Dude’s up. MOMMY? WHERE ARE YOU? I’M IN YOUR ROOM AND YOU’RE NOT HERE IN YOUR ROOM BUT I’M LOOKING FOR YOU BECAUSE I’M VEWY VEWY FIRSTY AND I CAN’T REACH THE DRINKS!!
Well, after the two wet beds the night before you can understand why I felt a tiny bit reluctant to offer up beverages, so I said, “You can have a tiny bit of water but then you have to try to pee.”
HD did NOT love that idea. I WANT TO HAVE ALL OF THE WATER IN A FULL CUP AND I DO NOT HAVE TO PEE.
Me: Please stop yelling. Loud One and the Nibbit are sleeping and I really would prefer you didn’t wake them up.
HD: I JUST WANT ALL THE WATER. I’M VEWY VEWY FIRSTY.
So, he drinks the water and I make him try to pee. As the pee is coming out of his body, he is still yelling, I DO NOT HAVE TO GO PEE PEE!
Aaaaand, back to bed.
I’m going to fast forward through the rest of the night because I think a general overview will give you a good sense of how the night played out. Please know that I am NOT exaggerating about what you read next.
9:45 pm: HD is up. He NEEDS ANOTHER DRINK BECAUSE I’M SO FIRSTY. (Made him pee. Again. Call me paranoid, but I was not changing sheets all night again.)
10:20 pm: HD is up. He CAN’T SWEEP IN HIS OWN BED BECAUSE ALL OF MY ANIMALS ARE GONE. (They weren’t.)
11:30 pm: After finally getting through a very unsatisfying Scandal episode, I go to sleep.
11:50 pm: HD is up because he’s NOT SWEEPY.
12:20 am: The Nibbit is up. He had a “bad dream about the bad guys coming and they wanted to get my… but I couldn’t get my… and…and…” I sympathize, give hugs, nightmares are tough, let’s think happy thoughts, blah blah blah.
12:55 am: Happy Dude is up. He NEEDS A TISSUE AND SOME JUICE. Now I’m really starting to get pissed off. I silently bring him back to his bed as he screams I REALLY NEED A TISSUE AND JUICE! A TISSUE!! I NEEEEED A TISSSSSUUUUE! I hand him a tissue* and I tell him that I will not be tucking him again.
*For those of you thinking, “Well if she keeps giving him what he wants, he’s going to keep waking up,” I have a few things to say. First, suck it. Second, I know this is true, but I also know that, I will always give the tissue to stop the screaming. ALWAYS. Right or wrong, in the middle of the night, I simply don’t have the patience that the proper parenting techniques require. I may not have that patience during the day either, but that’s a different post entirely.
1:20 am: I hear whimpering and crying coming from the Nibbit. I debate ignoring it but don’t want him to wake up the Loud One (irony), so I walk in there. Another bad dream, more comforting, blah blah blah BUT this time, he’s upset. I CAN’T GO BACK TO SLEEP! I’M TRYING TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH BUT I CAN’T BREATH! It’s OK, Nibbit… calm down, everything’s fine, you’re OK, you really need some sleep and I really need some sleep… and the Loud One chimes in from the top bunk, “and I REALLY need some sleep because I’m going to the dentist tomorrow!”
2:10 am: HD wanders into my room and starts saying something about his stupid needs and… I LOST IT.
Now, please know that I’m not proud of what comes next. But I lay it all out here so that so many of you can feel better about how you DIDN’T scream at your kids at 2:10am last night.
I start YELLING. At 2:30 in the morning, I am screaming, “HD, THIS IS NOT OK! YOU CANNOT KEEP WAKING ME UP! YOU’VE HAVE BEEN OUT OF YOUR BED EVERY HALF HOUR ALL NIGHT LONG AND IT HAS TO STOP! I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!”
So, of course then, HE loses it…
HD <SOBBING> : “I WANT DADDY!! I WANT DADDY!”*
*Daddy’s on a business trip. Lucky, lucky Daddy is sleeping in a hotel right now.
Me <deep breath> : Daddy’s not here. TRUST ME, I wish Daddy was here, too, but he’s not. I’m sorry I yelled at you, but I’m just so tired. So why don’t we go back to sleep and we’ll call him in the morning, ok?
HD : Okaaaaaay. And maybe I can have a whole drink in the morning?
Me: Yes, that sounds like a very good plan.
4:30 am: The Nibbit: I HAVE TO GO POOP AND I NEED YOUR HELP! Great.
5:15 am: HD: I REALLY HAVE TO GO PEE PEE AND POOPY!! Awesome.
6:00am: HD: I’M DONE SWEEPING! Nooooooo!
How can that even be true? You’ve only been asleep for like 17 total minutes!
7:00am: I drag myself downstairs to find HD drinking a big cup of juice, lovingly poured by his big sister. HI MOMMY! ‘MEMBER WHEN I WAS SO FIRSTY LAST NIGHT?
Um, yeah, I ‘member.