I’ve been cleaning and packing like a crazy woman lately. Today, I tackled the boys’ room. Well, I started on the boy’s room anyway. This is going to be a twenty-seven day project, at least. Because I got stuck cleaning the cesspool that is the boys’ room, I lost track of time and before I knew it, it was bedtime. I tried to stand up, but after sitting on the floor for over an hour, my knees yelled at me and refused to bend. I called my teenage son to help pull me up off the floor. He told me I was old. I told him he was grounded. It’s what we do.
My old-lady, creaky knees carried me out to the family room where I announced it was bedtime for my youngest three. I was met with utter incredulity.
“What?! It’s only 8:00! Why do we have to go to bed?”
“Seriously? Why do you always act so surprised when I tell you to go to bed? I’ve told you to go to bed at 8:00 for like the last nine years!” I said, exasperated.
“But Mom, it isn’t 8:00! It’s only 7:58!” came their feeble attempts at stalling.
I stared at them with my best mom look. You know, the one that says, You’d better get moving now or I’m going to shout idle threats at you.
They continued to sit there, disbelieving that I was actually going to send them to bed. Sure, I’d been putting them to bed at 8:00 their entire lives, but maybe tonight would be the night I’d decide to let them stay up and drink pop and watch R rated movies all night.
“Go brush your teeth now!”
One by one, they slowly trudged toward the bathroom as if on death row, walking to their execution. The only time they walk more slowly is when they make the trek from my car to the front door of their school each morning.
After brushing their teeth (and by “brushing their teeth”, I mean messing around in the bathroom, laughing hysterically, and making a concoction of lotion, shampoo, water, and toothpaste in the sink which they stirred with their brother’s toothbrush), I made them clean up their mess. Then I expounded on my instructions.
“Brush your teeth. With toothpaste. AND a toothbrush. For more than 10 seconds. And don’t wipe your toothpastey mouths on the towels. And rinse the globs of toothpaste down the sink when you’re done. And put the cap back on the tube. And rinse your toothbrushes. And hang them up too! Oh heck, here!” I said, thrusting Pep-O-Mint Lifesavers at them. “Just have these and call it night.”
After I snuggled and cuddled and talked to and hugged and kissed my girls repeatedly, I walked toward the door of their bedroom.
“Mom, don’t close the door, okay?” came their request. It’s the same thing they say every night. Again, I’ve been leaving their door open since the beginning of time, but you just never know when (what with me being so old and all) I’ll go senile and forget and *gasp* close the door.
Then I walked into the boys’ room to tuck in my youngest son, but he wasn’t in bed. He was hiding. Like he does every single night.
“Where, oh where could Clayton be?” I asked, knowing full well, he was hiding in the corner of his room.
He jumped out, I clutched my chest and staggered back a bit, doing my nightly “fake heart attack” routine, and then I snuggled and cuddled and talked to and hugged and kissed my youngest son.
I love bedtime (and not just because it means I get some quiet time to myself). I love it because it’s a great time to connect with your kids and share some special moments you’ll always remember. It’s because I know this time literally flies by! I mean, if I were to try to snuggle or have a tickle fight with my teens, they’d surely think I’d lost my mind, so I try to enjoy every last fun, frustrating, happy, crazy moment I can.