One of my hot buttons is that the kids go to bed on time.
They know that I get really angry if they sleep late during school nights.
Not enough sleep = poor concentration & immunity lowered = falling sick and spreading germs to the others = overtired & grumpy mummy.
Lately, the bedtime routine of the 2 youngest ones is starting to drive me crazy.
Kate & #5 sleep in the same room, and after showering and brushing their teeth, they get in bed by 7.30pm. Nice.
But then the real routine begins.
I read Kate her bedtime stories while #5 reads to himself.
There’s always the “one more, pleaseeee”, while trying to put on her cutest face. We have settled on 5 books, although she is using the 1 to 1 correspondence skill (or lack of) to try and wriggle a few more books into the 5.
Then it’s lights out.
I am constantly surprised how kids can think of so many things to do in semi-darkness.
“I want to sleep here, next to mummy.” Shuffle, shuffle. Silence for 3 seconds.
“I don’t want to sleep at the bad guy side.” (the side closest to the wall) More shuffling.
“I have no space!” Nudging, pushing, shoving.
Stop moving both of you, and go to sleep!
Silence for 10 seconds.
“I have a mosquito bite on my arm. I need to put oil.” No. Sleep.
“I need. I need!” Ok quickly put oil and lie down.
#5 will take the opportunity to start telling some jokes.
Enough, both of you! Keep quiet!
#5: “I need to use the toilet.” You just went!
“I need!” Ok. GO!
And this can go on until 8.30.
Some days, I get so worked up I start yelling at them.
“KEEP QUIET, CLOSE YOUR EYES AND SLEEP NOW!
Then I lose it and start ranting.
“Why must you two keep on messing around until I get angry, yell at you before you sleep? WHY??” Can’t you yada yada yada…
Some days, when I’ve had a tough day, I cut myself some slack and just GIVE UP.
I lie down, close my eyes, and let all their talking and quibbling wash over me, and tell myself that they will fall asleep.
When it felt like they will go on forever, I open my eyes, ready to hiss some orders.
But then, I see them doing the simplest, sweetest things. Being siblings.
And I let it slide.
#5 will eventually be knocked out as he wakes up at 5.30am to catch the school bus.
But Kate? She will be busy arranging and re-arranging her soft toys, softly singing lullabies to them, and patting them to sleep.