The funniest thing just happened. My husband and I both made a mad dash for the closet at the exact same time and simultaneously began ripping our clothes off.
Sadly, it’s not what you think. You see, it was 7 pm, post dinner/dishes and while we shared a certain urgency to get horizontal, the only things we were letting loose were our waistbands. In some sort of systematic, almost choreographed military maneuver, we both dropped trou and reached for our elasticized pajama bottoms.
Turns out, nothing challenges the sex life or the sleep cycle like parenting.
In other words, in an optimistic attempt at clock out time; that time of day when moms and dads everywhere run to the finish line we like to think of as a shot at sweet relaxation, reality is but a cruel slap in the face of potential slumber.
Because though we’re one step closer to the news (Have you heard it? I mean really heard it? Uninterrupted?), a little bit closer to that favorite TV show, that book on the bedside table, (you know, the one that doesn’t rhyme?) we’ll still have to deal with the bedtimes of the progeny.
Listen, I love my kids and I enjoy spending time with them. But by the time the sun starts setting, my lids are at half mast and I’m slack jawed as in, to gape. I’m yawning right now at the mere thought. A lot of living gets wedged into a day and we’re not getting any younger, just a whole lot tireder.
The kids are still bouncing off the walls urging us to watch “The Krusty Krab Training Video” episode of Sponge Bob for the billionth time, right after we pop them some popcorn and play a few rounds of Skylanders.
For the love of God, we just want a cup of tea and a lie down.
Because, where I’m concerned anyway, never mind the grocery shopping, house cleaning, laundry slinging and dog wrangling I negotiated today with nary an opportunity for bon bon noshing before the afternoon school bus pulled up. That’s when the party is just getting started.
After school snack negotiations get under way. We will debate the pros and cons of store bought cookies (I push heavily toward that convenient option) vs. home made personal pan pizzas. (The pizzas win every time.)
And never mind that I spent a good hour with The Pioneer woman from 5 to 6 pm attempting to craft some sort of culinary masterpiece only to find Ree gazing down at me sympathetically from the television as if to say “Yep. Nailed it.” – in that internet ‘nailed it’ sort of way. My kids take one look at it and I’m on to dinner number two: The Mac and Cheese Edition, when all I really want to do is pack my knives and go…to bed.
What follow are clean up and the doling out of twenty seven versions of s’mores, which means thirty different places I’ll find Nutella hidden days from now.
Oh, but there won’t be any kicking off of shoes or lounging just yet. Because it’s time to drag those belligerent children kicking and screaming into the seemingly never ending homework session. They’ll laugh, I’ll cry as I struggle to understand their math. The fidgeting, constant distractions and clever demonic strategies for coaxing the answers from me will further drive me to drink…coffee…when all I want is to sleep. Sweet, wonderful, elusive sleep.
Dad? He’s already given up and adjourned to his office (man cave) to work (watch YouTube videos and sing off key with the head phones on.).
Time for yet another snack, tooth brushing, PJs and story time. Really? The entire Dr. Seuss collection? Can we agree that mommy’s tongue is already twisted? Hey! I’ve got a story for you, kids!
Mom needs her sleep
She’s just exhausted
You jumped on the bed
And she about lost it
That fourth drink of water
You asked for tonight
Will sit there untouched
You know that she’s right
You’ll call for her ‘cause
You just heard a monster
All she hears are stallings
You’re driving her bonkers
Oh please let your mommy just lie down and rest
It’s the right thing to do – and mommy knows best
Don’t walk in her room during grown up TV
Just lie down and sleep
You must let her be
Let her be and you’ll see
She’ll be much more chipper
She’s just on the edge now
Let her get a firm gripper
‘Cause sleep’s a good thing
Though you may not think so
But as old people get tireder
Their patiences shrink, yo!
So hop off to bed
Please let your mom doze
Say “good night”, drop those lids and please keep ‘em closed!
Of course, despite attempted reasoning, hinting and abject begging, the message inevitably goes unheeded. Our bedroom becomes Grand Central Station after 8 pm.
Last minute projects need to be finished. Pictures urgently need to be printed for tomorrow’s book report and requests for tomorrow’s lunch are all presented because bringing it up during dinner would just make too much sense.
And so, when the last cup of water is delivered and that final photo spits out of the printer, when every single cotton pickin’ need is met and we’re just too spent for anything but unconsciousness…finally, blissfully the promise of sleep is on the horizon.
And in the words of Timothy Be Weary…that’s when we “Tuck In. Turn Off. Pass Out.”