So on one hand I love reading stories to my children at bedtime. It’s quality bonding time and some of the funny stories that they come out with are golden. On the other hand I just wish they would GO TO FUCKING SLEEP. I just wish we didn’t have this nightmare before bedtime every single night.
Jack has always been a rubbish sleeper, he’s five and still wakes every single night. He shouts for me from his bed. It’s like a king summoning one of his peasants. He won’t come in to our bed – he demands I go to him. Yeah so that’s annoying. I’ve sort of got used to this now though. We bought him a double bed so that I can just go and sleep next to him and he does go straight back to sleep once I’m there. Anybody who’s thinking of writing a comment along the lines of “You’ve made a rod for your own back” – I will hunt you down.
My issue is how long they take to go to sleep. This is the real nightmare before bedtime. The whole palava (great word by the way), every night. There’s the battle to get them upstairs. Then there’s the battle to get them in the bath. Even though they didn’t want to get in the bath, there’s then a battle to get them out. This is after they’ll have pissed each other off seven times whilst in the bath and shouted for me or Nina. They’ll then take an age to put pyjamas on. To watch them it’s as though they’re limbs are made of jelly. One of my favourites is the teeth brushing. The toothpaste is too minty. I want the one with the bear on it. It’s too sticky. JUST DO IT!!!
Finally they’ll be in bed. Typically Jack will need around three stories and maybe 45 minutes, on a good day. That’s not too bad but it’s taken a full five years to get to this stage. Sometimes he’ll start lying upside down just as I think he’s dropping off. He loves to ask for a drink right at the end of the story telling process. One of his party pieces is popping up and declaring “I forgot to give mommy a hug”. He knows that I’d have to be a cold hearted so and so to deny such a cute request.
The main issue though is with Lucy, our three year old. She is a nightmare going to sleep. Unfortunately for Nina it is her that suffers the burden of this. The general routine involves me putting Jack to bed and Nina puts Lucy to bed. Lucy can take two hours to get to sleep. Regularly. She doesn’t have tantrums so much (although she does do a great diva strop). She just talks and talks, asks a million questions. Every sentence of every book you read her she questions. “Why is Snow White called Snow White and not Snow Blue?” “Why is Ariel a mermaid?” They’re questions that don’t have a logical answer which makes it even more difficult.
On a serious note it is getting to be a problem. It can really get you down as a parent when bedtime takes so long. It means you don’t end up getting an evening yourself and I know Nina feels like this often. Once the kids are asleep there will be tidying, ironing and cleaning to do. By the time that’s done it can be 21:30.
If anybody has any tips on how to break this cycle let me know in the comments below. PLEASE.