I believe I will try a new bedtime routine. Because bedtime around here is nothing less than exhausting. And, after they go to bed, I still have work that needs concentration.
Bedtime usually goes a little like this:
9:15- Ty,Nate, go brush your teeth and get them flossed.
9:18- Ty, Nate, go brush your teeth and get them flossed.
9:19- Ellie, Evan, get your teeth brushed and flossed and get to bed.
9:21- Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie. Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie. Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie!
Now that I have their attention, they all begin to whine that they are starving, and descend like locusts on the kitchen. At this point, everyone begins to whine about why don't I buy and how come we never have and Jamie's family gets and our food is so boring and there's NOTHING TO EAT!
9:40- Ty,Nate, go brush your teeth and get them flossed.
9:42- Ty, Nate, go brush your teeth and get them flossed.
9:45- Ellie, Evan, get your teeth brushed and flossed and get to bed.
9:46- Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie. Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie. Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie!
And this is where they all think I care about the funniest thing that happened on Sponge Bob today or how I should buy a timer so everyone can only play Wii for like 30 minutes because not everyone got a turn today. And oh yeah, did I mention that I have to babysit and the crack of dawn and I told them you would run me over and I forgot to tell you that _________ is coming over to __________ at 7am and I told her you'll be home so to plan on it. . .
And still, not one child has even thought of their toothbrush, let alone put paste on it and stuck it near a tooth.
Usually, at 10:15, I am finally able to manhandle children to the various bathrooms and drag them towards the stairs. I settle down to work and the noise upstairs gets higher and louder and more manic and I begin to worry because it sure sounds like someone is spinning someone else and haven't we had enough broken bones for heaven's sake? And I can feel myself coming unhinged, in a smoke blowing out both ears sort of way. Because let's face it, I'm exhausted. I am mentally and physically tired and there is nowhere I would rather be than in bed. And after I get done working, I really do have to pick mildewed towels up off of the new carpet and put another load of clothes in the washer and attempt to chip dried milk off of the counter and let the dog in and turn off lights and lock up and probably do one last load of laundry or dishes. And they have all of the energy in the world to scream around upstairs at 300 decibels. And I get cranky and mean with them every single night. And then we do it again the very next day.
So, because I can turn a sock into dental floss, I am thinking outside of the box. But not too far out, because I think I swiped the idea from a friend. From now on, I will give them one warning. If I have to tell them again, they pick up 100 things somewhere in the house. And trust me, on any given night, there are always 500 or more things that need to be put away. It's astounding. But that is a very depressing post for another time when I have less pride.
Tonight, I didn't really warn them what the consequence was. I just told them, go quietly to bed, or else.
Evan and Ellie earned it first. And it was a beauty in the art of sibling bickering that put them in my grasp. Evan had to pick up 100 things in the kitchen and Ellie had to pick up 100 pieces of laundry. After their arguments were met with an invitation to pick up 200 things, they did not utter another peep. Not while picking up, and not while getting their sorry little butts back to bed. Bliss.
And I think this will work at least another two days. I will get some quiet time at night and I won't even need to "hire" a "housekeeper". Or shave her chin.