Jason’s been out of town the past few weekends and I’ve been hoofing it with the kids on my own. I’d whine a little but let’s face it, they’re older and nicer and mostly more obedient.
Bedtime, however is it’s own beast. When I say beast what I really mean is Georgia. Since the start of kindergarten, her edges have been stretched to breaking–by Thursday afternoon she’s reduced to a weepy pile of stringy hair, completely inconsolable on every level. Whoever invented all day kindergarten is one part genius and two parts sadistic tormenter of small children.
So Thursday night was especially trying. For whatever reason my girls sailed past their 8 pm lights out and we found ourselves stuck on the get-me-a-drink-I-need-to-pee merry-go-round at 9. This is almost unheard of in my life. It’s a well known fact that mothers turn into raging lunatics if 9 pm rolls around and little voices can still be heard in the house.
I keep Melatonin chewables in my kitchen for nights when the girls are giving me grief. I consider it an emergency plan to ensure that I don’t kick anyone out of the family for getting out of bed. It works like a charm and is a real life saver.
However, I am also a firm believer that kids who are tired need to know how to close their eyes and fall asleep. I don’t want them to think they need a chewable sleeping pill to drift off.
By 9 pm Thursday we’d read a full chapter of Betsy Tacy, done homework, cleaned bedrooms, and the girls had been officially put to bed three times.
“You listen to me,” I said as I once again loomed in their doorway like a monster mother on the rampage, “If I see or hear from either of you again tonight you’re gonna get a spanking. I mean it, I’ll really do it!”
“But Mama,” Georgia said, “We need Melatonin! We’re not sleepy at all!!”
“Oh yes you are, you girls go to sleep RIGHT NOW!”
I tromped downstairs satisfied that bedtime would hold.
Ten minutes later I sat watching the news and suddenly, a little figure emerged from around the corner, tiptoeing into the family room with her hands clasped tightly in front of her.
“What are you–” My blood pressure shot through the roof. What? I thought, Enough is enough! I am so tired of–
“Mom,” Georgia said, shuffling into the room in her silky nightgown with her two little post-bath bedtime buns perched neatly on top of her head, looking for all the world like a little angel. “I jutht came down for two thingth. Firtht I need a thpanking, and thecond, some Melatonin cuz June and me can’t thleep.”
Just try to spank that. I dare you.
Friends, meet our future Russian ambassador. The girl would make a great politician.