Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why We Can't Get to Bed Before 9:00 pm in Words and Pictures

Back in the good old days, I was proudly known as the SLEEP NAZI. Babywise, Healthy Sleep Habits--Happy Child and The Seven O'Clock Bedtime Book were my bibles. Everyone knew that I had my kids in bed by 7:00 pm, if not earlier. Hey, I was with the crew all day long and they couldn't tell time and it got dark very early. So, why not?

Putting my kids down early was a source of great pride and joy. By 7:30, I had a clean house and a sleeping foursome. I could enjoy my favorite TV programming, a good book, and--on the rare occasions my husband was in town and not at a church meeting--some adult conversation. I could get a babysitter and shop at Target, completely kid-free. I was very smug. I was a great mom and I knew it. And, geez, why wasn't everyone else doing the same thing?

Well, I shoulda known.

Nothing lasts forever, especially with growing kids around. So, using the above photo collage as my visual aid, I'll give you the lo-down and maybe you can write in with your suggestions.

Yesterday:

1. The kids were playing beautifully in the yard together. I find that the more dangerous or messy the activity, the less they fight. So, when they decided to pull all my dead lily-branch-thingies and tie them together to make boats, I was okay with it. Better than watching Nickelodeon, right?

2. The boats were SOOO cool, they had to walk through the deep dark woods to the stream behind our house and see if they would float. A little nature and exercise, fine.

3. Dad came home and grilled our dinner. We HAD to eat outside on the patio. Great...the family meal, very important.

4. Dad made everyone clean up the mess outside. (He's the meanie...love it!) Plus, someone had to do the dishes...and I think we can all guess who. At this point, everyone was begging for cookies and ice cream. Actually, I wanted some too, so we all sat down for ANOTHER meal at the formerly clean kitchen counter. Yeah...yeah..yeah...more bonding time, great!

5. In theory, this would be the time when one parent bathed the twins while another parent assisted with homework. (You may be wondering why we don't do homework right after school. Well, we just don't. My kids are hyper little critters and need to be outside while the sun shines.) During this study/bath/bonding time, there were several phone calls and a couple of naked people just running around the house. The (3rd grade) homework proved too difficult for the on-duty parent (even though she had at one time been a 3rd grade super-student and even a 3rd grade teacher...hello!). So a mid-stream parent switch was necessary. More screaming, more phone calls, more nudity...you get the picture.

6. Once the twins were finally wrestled into bed and the homework was completed...including the always-painful read aloud and writing in the dreaded reading log, kid #2 reminded me of PICTURE DAY. This meant extra-thorough showering, toothbrushing, clothing selection and rolling her hair in rag curlers...because even though she is adopted, she somehow inherited my stick straight hair. OK, we were slowly inching our way closer to bedtime.

7. Just as we had their heads on the pillow, ready for prayers and lullabies...KNOCK! KNOCK! Who's there? The neighborhood BOO, that's who! OHHHHHH the inhumanity! Everyone was out of bed, tussling over the candy, fighting over the bucket, crying about who got to tape the ghost to the door, eating more than their allotted single piece, running back to the bathroom to re-brush, needing drinks of water. Gee, thanks, neighbor. Next time why don't you just throw a brick through the window? It'd be less hassle and mess...

So...that is why I am cranky today. And that is why no one got to bed before 9:00 pm.

18 comments:

Rochelleht said...

Oh Gab, I LOVE this!! I, too, am a sleep nazi. 8 pm for us (7 back when my dh traveled all the time. HELLO!). I also can never understand why other people's kids consistently run around as late as 10. But even last night, when Greg was at the church and the kids were having fun outside, it was awfully tempting to push bedtime back (if for no other reason, to let dh do it!). They did make it in by 8, but I have found that over the years and as the kids get older, flexibility is the KEY!

Also, as I mentioned on Celia's blog: I am NOT a fan of the neighborhood boo. This shows what a humbug I am. I haven't even hung up the sign yet. Don't even know where it is. I'm shameful, I know...

Bridget said...

I am a sleep nazi too. And pretty smug about it as well. I enjoy having my boys in bed by 6:30pm and daugther by 7pm. I calmly and slowly look at every fragile item at Pottery Barn while giving the curtesy smile to the frantic mother trying to contain her kicking, screaming, tantrum throwing children.

And so comforting to know that other moms out there hate to be Boo'd too. I mean really people. All this means is a. my kids get MORE sugar. b. I have to buy more Halloween junk. and c. I have to find a xerox machine to copy the dumb letter and ghost to give someone else. Ugh. I don't think we need to be ashamed at all Gab and Rochelle. Maybe we can overthrow this system someday. :)

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I learned every lesson about putting kids to bed from you. Six o'clock has been our standard bedtime around here for years. It's so ingrained in me now that when we have pack meeting or something else that goes late, my eye starts to twitch with the thought that it's past six and I still have kids up.

That being said, school and homework really has screwed things up for both of us. I do my best to get them down as early as I can because my mental sanity can't take those nine o'clock bedtimes. Some days we don't make it, but most days I still try.

marta said...

this made me laugh! congrats on the neighborhood boo! your family needs a tad more sugar.. someone must have known.

i'm glad you make time for serious family bonding. these are the moments that matter. and i love this collage.. does this mean you're still rockin' the picasa pics?! good work.

oh, yes, and i did get to see marie faint! crazy stuff. all thanks to you tube.

Jessica said...

Fun play by play. Rochelle, I don't like the boo! either...we already have enough junk this month!

Answer: My husband's grandpa was cousins with Marion G and George (Mitt's dad). --We have ZERO contact, it's way too far of a connection, but I'll certainly be happy to attend an inauguration.

Question: What's the story with your kids? I read that some were I/V F and some not and some adopted? Is that right? YOu can reply to me (on a night when they get to be early enough) at jessicaromney@hotmail.com...if you want!

Marty said...

I lived for bedtime. I cared more about that than homework. I could hold off on child abuse most days until 6:30pm. After that I was not responsible.

Dancin Queen said...

A brick through the window. HA! You better be careful what you ask for? =)

Lisa-Marie said...

Oh NO!!! What you are telling me is that my precious 7:00 bed time may END some day?

Wimper.

Jenifer and Scott said...

Gabi, I have so enjoyed reading your blog these past few weeks. You make me laugh! Can you teach me how to do the photo collage thing?

Paige said...

That damn neighborhood boo can kiss my bootiful nap. He had the nerve to come today while I was napping. If I was down there faster I could have snatched it away and REGIFTED the whole thing. No nap and more candy, AHHH!

Paige said...

i really like Marty. No child abuse before 6:30. This is a woman who knows what she's talkin' about.

gab said...

Paige...Marty is my mom and, Yes, she knows what she's talking about. Yikes!

Jenifer...the photo collage I did on Picasa. My sister taught me...she lives in UT, maybe she'll come over!

Polly said...

We must be related..my kids always were in bed by 7:00..listening and watching the rest of the neighborhood play outside in the summer..we finally gave in to the kick the can games as they got older. Once when I tended the grandbabies with Whit in Mexico, each night we kept putting them to bed earlier and earlier. Toward the end of the week they were waking up at 4am, because they had been put to bed at 5 pm..I thought the jumping around before the fainting of Marie was what was weird.

Holly said...

Hi there Gab! I found my way to you through several blogs (Stie, Mique, Rochelle, etc.) and have so enjoyed your humorous, real-life posts. This week we had church meetings each evening and had close to 9:00 bedtimes. I agree, those are ICK-ola. We're going to try to get back to 7:30-8:00--more for our sanity though (and TV). :)

Amanda said...

We have been putting the kids in bed at 7:30 for so long and it has been great. Just this last couple of days I have been thinking of letting them stay up later because they wake up so early and lately they don't stay in bed when we put them there. BUT, if there are lots of other people with their kids in bed really early too...

We are not homework right after school people either. They need to run and play for awhile after being in school for so long.

I must say though, that I like the neighborhood Boo. We haven't seen anything like that around here and I miss it!

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

I'm with ya on the early bedtime. I don't know why any neighbor would coming over so late. Hello. What are they thinking? I would definately take a brick through the window over getting the kids out of bed!

lainakay said...

Yikes... never heard of a neighborhood boo! Sounds like it could be a fun thing if it came earlier!

Bedtime, schmedtime... so not my favorite time of day! I do love the part after they are actually in bed, though!

I used to be able to do all my shopping, grocery and fun, after the kids went to bed. Aah, those were the days.

So glad to hear that a former 3rd grade teacher even gets frustrated with 3rd grade homework. Oi! Can't wait until the kids can tackle their homework without me. Will that ever actually happen?

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