I love bedtime! I have figured out, over my 7+ years experience as being a mama, that I have exactly 12 hours of patience for my kids. I can go-go-go all day: clean, tend to three kids, cook, bake, entertain, homework, help in classrooms, iron, yadda yadda. As the evening comes to a close, however, my patience quickly comes to an end. I LOVE how early my kids go to bed. I hope they NEVER want to go to bed later, even though I know they will someday. I will revel in every day with a 6:30 bedtime, cherish every moment. Staying up late occasionally is fun. Especially on a special occasion or event. For our day-to-day lives though, in bed early works best for the kids and mommy. It works REALLY well for mommy 🙂 Early bedtimes began from when Abby first got on a schedule when she was about 6 months when I read that babies need 12 hours of sleep. We had to be up for me to work by 6:30, hence the 6:30 bedtime. I tried once or twice for Abby to go to bed at 7, haha, it did not work. They just need that sleep. Then, since they all stopped napping early (around 2 1/4 yrs old) they REALLY needed that sleep! Abby and Jacob went to bed fairly easily, most nights, but now with three kids, we usually spend about 40 minutes doing what I like to call “The Bedtime Dance”. This sounds better than the i’m-going-to-pull-my-fricken-hair-out dance. Abby is usually out cold by 6:32, Jake may come out once or twice, but HANNAH, whoa, a TOTALLY different story. She probably could go to bed at 8 and would be fine, but obviously I am not going to allow ONE child to stay up late! That would be hilarious! Why on earth would I do that?!?
Here’s a typical expert from The Bedtime Dance:
6:10- read stories
6:30- tuck kids into bed, give kisses and say good night
6:32-close doors, pour wine for mom (I don’t need to “tidy up” like some moms because I have learned to get all that crap done before bedtime so I can RELAX afterwards!)
6:35- grab phone, computer and laptop to work on my blog, check emails and read the news of the day.
6:36- Jake comes out asking for water, I remind him his cup is already full by his bed and tell him to go to sleep (I learned long ago to give each kid a sippy of water in bed so they don’t have to ask me for a drink!)
6:37- head back to couch, almost sit down, Hannah comes out asking for (fill in the blank) stuffed animal, help her find it
6:39- head back to couch, sip wine, almost sit, dumb dog whines to go out, let dog out
6:41- head back to couch, sip wine, open ipad, Hannah comes out again, asking for (fill in the blank) book, get it for her, tell her “no more after this!” Let dog back in.
6:45- take a LARGER sip of wine, sit down, Jake comes out to remind me of “something” (who the heck knows what) I tell him THAT’S IT, in my mean voice. This will probably be it for Jake for the evening.
6:48- Sitting now, Hannah will come in and out 4-5 times, I won’t get up, tell her to GET IN BED. She will ask for random toy #1, #2 and #3, random book #1 or #2, or her blanket. I will be sipping my wine this whole time and sitting, now tired and annoyed. Dog wants to go out again, I say “Biscuit, are you f*$#ing kidding me?!” May or may not let her out.
6:56- She may stay in her bed for 5-6 minutes at this time, giving me a false sense of security. I may or may not need a refill on my wine, probably will have gotten through a few emails, maybe started my blog. I don’t dare watching a show yet, not quite yet…
7:01- Hannah reappears, now with the phantom boo-boo. Its always in a different spot, always fake. If you even ask her, “is this for a fake boo-boo???” she will respond yes. I’ve learned it’s just easier to get her the damn band-aid because if not, they she will SCREAM, which wouldn’t bother me if she didn’t share a room with Abby. I get the band aid and tell her THIS IS IT! ONCE MORE AND I’M CALLING SANTA! Yea, I said it, Santa. I use the Santa card from September through December. Sometimes I even get on the phone and fake my convo with him.
7:05- Take a GIANT sip of wine, hope she’s asleep.
This may be it, but sometimes this goes on for another 10 minutes. Eventually she will FINALLY fall asleep and sleep all night, thankfully. I’m sure Super Nanny would cringe. Oh well…time to pour more wine…