Bedtime. Why is bedtime always so bleeping awful?! First, there is the look of alarmed confusion that crosses their little faces. It’s as if I have spoken in a language that they have never heard before and they feel compelled to repeat “it’s bedtime?”
Next, the look of terrified horror. It’s as if I have just informed them that they will be walking across the Serengeti, alone, wearing Lady Gaga’s meat dress. Their bottom lips start to pout and quiver.
Then, their survival instincts kick in. Despite the fact that they ate all of their dinner, and dessert, they suddenly are obsessively driven to have more food. “But I’m still hungry!” they cry. As though they are going to be marooned on a deserted island without any hope of ever having access to food again. As though they hadn’t been ‘so full’ they had to be prompted to finish their vegetables at dinner.
They plead with me, in a hysterical, high pitched whine. They cite that I have stated in the past that “If you’re hungry you can always have a piece of fruit”. They look at me, with angry expectation, as they await my ruling. As if this same exact scenario hasn’t played out every single night for years.
“It’s bedtime.” I announce again, with a resigned sigh at the riot that is about to ensue. And despite the fact that I’m familiar with their gorilla warfare tactics, the amount of righteous indignation being thrown around the room makes me feel guiltier then a sinner in church. Which is sheer insanity!
The trip up the stairs is treated as a walk to the gallows. Seriously, if I was hanging a noose around them the looks of disdain couldn’t possibly rival the ones being thrown over their shoulders.
Teeth brushing is interrupted by declarations of how “not tired” they are. (It’s amazing that in Lexi's five years of existence she has never once been tired)
An ambitious and unrealistic stack of bedtime story books is piled on my bed. When I shut the book of the last story I’m going to tell that night, they suddenly fall back against the pillows as though they have been tasered, wriggling and crying out.
Something about being in their beds makes the thirst set in. Suddenly there are calls from up and down the hall requesting water. Despite the fact that I’m going to clear off half drunk glasses from the kitchen table, (they were ‘too full’ to finish off the last of their milk) they are inexplicably dying of dehydration.
And it’s dark. This observation from the seven year olds room. Which is then echoed from the five year olds room. As if this is some earth shattering phenomenon.
During goodnight kisses they cling to me. As if I will never see them again. As if I’m leaving them behind in a big, dark, scary, bear infested cave. Never mind they have night lights on. Or that I’m leaving the door open. Or that I’ve done a thorough closet monster check.
After I clean the kitchen and finally sit down on the couch I find myself glancing up the stairs. Hoping that, despite all the times I tell them, they know how much I love them. Hoping that no one comes back down the steps. Hoping that I can eventually learn to like wine because a glass has gotta be less calories then the ramekin of chocolate I’m about to eat. Who am I kidding? Probably two ramekins full.