New Bedtime Routine, Stat

Ever feel like a broken record? Saying the same thing over and over and over again? Yep, that’s how I feel with our kid’s nightly bedtime routine. The process starts at 7:30 because it will take the little rascals at least a half-hour two hours for them to doze off.

Right now our nightly rendezvous looks something like this:  get pajamas on, brush teeth, potty time, read a story to each kid and sing a song or two, hugs and kisses, good night. Of course, this is in list form. What it looks like is entirely different. Here’s the real deal:

Pajama Time–Time: 7:30

Kind of sounds like party time, no? That’s exactly what it is. It’s like trying to dress a monkey, while jumping on a trampoline, and doing somersaults at the same time. Feet are going to the arm holes, underwear on the head, and all the while, they’re giggling because apparently, it’s funny to watch mommy struggle against a wild animal.

Brush teeth–Time: 7:40ish

“Brush your teeth.”

“Nooooo. I don’t want to.”

“It’s not up to you, brush your teeth.”

“I don’t like the taste of the toothpaste. It’s yucky.”

“Either brush your teeth or the dentist will have to pull them out.” Yes, that may sound extreme, but dental hygiene is important and mommy’s tired.

Potty Time–Time: 7:50ish

If I’m lucky, I can get one done brushing their teeth and then send the other to the bathroom. Except when I’m not.

“I don’t have to go to the bathroom.”

“We do this every night, now go.”

“I don’t want to go in this one.”

“Then go to the other potty.”

“Nooo. I’m too tired.”

“The faster you go, the faster you’ll get to bed.” Now one is crying, and the other is jumping up and down because they need to go to the bathroom, but refuse to go the one down the hall.

At this point, I walk away and start to count to five. I say, “The first one done gets a special treat in the morning.”

That almost always works. Hey, sometimes you just have to do things to get it done.

Storytime–Time 8:00ish

“How about we read this?” I hold up a favorite.


“Okay, how about this? Or this? Or this?” Surely one of these has to be the winner.

“No. No, and no.” Seriously? At this time, this turkey’s way overcooked (I’m the turkey, follow me?) and needs to be done.

“Either pick a story or lights out. Mommy’s tired and needs to go to bed.”

The two of them saunter over to the bookshelf and pick a story, but somewhere between walking at a snail’s pace (or somersaulting) and choosing a book, they start wrestling. How is this possible? I’ve lost control of the situation. I call for backup.

“Honey! Come help, please!”

My husband comes into the room to wrangle one of the wild animals. We each take a kid, read a story, hugs and kisses, and it’s time for bed. We close their doors and simultaneously collapse on the couch.

Somehow, this debacle hasn’t ended yet. After putting each kid back to bed at least two more times, it’s finally quiet.

By now it’s 8:30 or 9. Netflix has been sitting on the screen waiting to be watched. We’ve got maybe one hour before our heads slowly nod off into a deep, sleep deprived slumber.

10:00 rolls around and we both shake ourselves awake and get ready for bed. That’s when I see it. Our son has his bedroom light on.

“No, way. He can’t be awake yet, can he?” I whisper to my husband.

I crack the door open and peek inside. Our son is sound asleep…wearing a hard hat…with his bulldozer tucked under his arm. Apparently, there was work to do before bed.

I gently and carefully slip the hat off his head and slide the bulldozer out from under his arm. Kiss him gently on the head and tell him I love him.

It’s late, but all lights are out. Ahhh, time to sleep.

Boom! There’s flash of lightning outside our window. A storm’s rolling in. I lie awake waiting to hear two pairs of feet pattering down the hall with sleeping bags under their arms.

I guess I’ll be taking a nap tomorrow.

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