Dear Bedtime Routine,
You know the drill. 6:00 pm arrives and I start to envision all the things I will accomplish once my two kids go to bed. I am soon disrupted by the reality that while I am so close to packing lunches, getting the dishwasher loaded and fifty million other things, I am also so far away.
Before I do any of those things, I have to face you. It starts off the same way every night, “everyone upstairs to the bath!” The kids are initially excited. Thirty seconds later, someone is crying because they didn’t win the race of who can be the first upstairs. More tears because I have the nerve to do something crazy like put bubbles into the bath on a night where my five year old has decided he doesn’t like bubbles anymore.
Where is my wine?
Out of the tub and into pajamas.
But not so quick. First I reason with my potty training two year old on why she still needs to wear a diaper to bed. What does she care? She wouldn’t be the one changing sheets at 1am.
Ok, Bedtime Routine, I now have two clean kids in pajamas ready for books. Oh, but I forgot to have them each go potty and brush their teeth. Back to the bathroom it is. I breathe deeply as I take the diaper off of my daughter so she can use her princess potty and then wrangle her back into it. Assuming nobody has pushed the other off their bathroom stool, we are back in business and onto books!
A couple of books in my daughters room, then lights out – meaning she will climb onto her table to be tall enough to turn off the lights then will jump into my arms and we will fly to her crib. Repeat three times. Songs in her crib, more kisses and hugs and then I dash out in hopes she will chatter with her baby dolls instead of repeating “mommy, mommy!” in a way that tugs at my heart to go back in…but I know better.
One down, but you’re not over yet, Bedtime Routine.
I turn the corner and find my two favorite guys; my son and husband, reading books on the floor of our son’s room. This is my favorite part of you, Bedtime Routine. I smile and pause but then glance over at the overflowing laundry basket and am reminded of that mile-long to do list.
Ok, again back to business. “Mason, pick one book please for mommy to read.” It sounds like such a simple request. Why is this such a struggle?
I am already exhausted.
Book down, songs sung, but you’re still not over. Pillow talk (ok this part is pretty adorable), light out, nightlight on, one more sip of water.
Please, just go to bed.
I lay down, always a mistake, in hopes he will close his eyes and be out in a snap. Bedtime Routine, you exhaust me. If I manage to stay awake, I lay there running that to do list in my head.
Freedom at last as I sneak out of the room. I literally hold my breath the entire way downstairs hoping not to hear those little feet running after me.
The unachievable has been achieved! Two kids to bed.
But now, my bedtime routine begins. My husband cleans the kitchen while I pack my son’s lunch and get my daughter’s daycare bag ready. I forgot to grab the dirty laundry from the kids’ rooms. I don’t dare attempt to sneak in and grab it. That can wait until tomorrow, when I will likely forget it again.
Bedtime Routine, you are relentless. I know there will come a time where the snuggles are gone and I wish we could read books just one more time. I do cherish this time, sometimes. But on most nights, let’s be honest; all you do is exhaust me.
See you tonight,