Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get both children asleep by 7.30pm, best-case scenario, or worst-case scenario, one of them asleep.
Children are fed and bathed.
The house is quiet.
Conditions are favourable. It’s a cool night, it’s raining outside so it looks even darker. More susceptible to snuggling under the duvet.
Both children in their rooms, in their beds.
Mission on track.
Things are going well.
I feel good about this. I am thinking of what I will do tonight? Find a new series to watch? Complete my colouring picture? Read a magazine?
Drat! Aiden has gone into Ava’s room. This can’t be good.
I march off to reprimand the offending child and get this project back on track.
Children are back in their respective rooms.
I pat myself on the back for avoiding a potential disaster, being proactive and staying on top of things, fulfilling my parental responsibility … wait, what the hell? FFS
Kids have decided its way more fun to play WWE wrestling in Aiden’s room. Laughing, giggling and shouting. At this point the shouting is from me.
I whip out the iPad for Ava and a biscuit to lure her back to her room and back in her bed.
Aiden is now occupied on the PS4. Mission not quite going to plan, but at this point they are in their bedrooms so technically still on track?
I get comfy in bed, safe in the knowledge that I have this in the bag and get Netflix going.
Aiden comes bouncing into my room. No really, actually bouncing. Think Tigger. He wants to sleep in my bed. Apparently, I promised he could last week Tuesday in the morning after he had a piece of apple with the skin cut off and he was wearing the Star Wars T shirt, remember we had the discussion and I said to him he could. The movie Rain Man suddenly flashes in my mind. But ask him to go tidy his room and suddenly he is reduced to the capability of a tadpole. Now the light is too bright for him and the TV is annoying, all said while jumping up and down and fidgeting and annoying me. The irony was not lost, but my temper was. “Go to your own bed then” I yell. Tears erupt as he jumps off and runs out the room.
Well ok, not the best way to deal with the situation, but he’s back in his room. Mission, albeit a little late, is back on track.
He’s back. With a slice of bread.
I relent and turn off the TV and the light.
Out the darkness Aiden suddenly asks:
“Mom, what was I before I was born? Like before I was in your tummy?
What was my name before it was Aiden?
Why did you name me Aiden?
How did I get in your tummy?
Mom have you met Jesus?
Was Jesus the first person in heaven?”
And all I am thinking is “Dear God, why me? Where is Jay? Why now? Will Google have the answers?”
Aiden got all wound up again, so the bouncing and jumping commenced, as well as hanging upside down off the bed. The conversation digressed, got heated, words were exchanged and he left in tears, again.
Aiden bounced back into the room with even more energy that before. Just like badies in a movie that keep appearing, trying to stop your mission. He must have gone to go fuel up. And hot on his heels is Ava carrying her new Anna doll, who also wants to sleep in my bed.
Sure. Why not.
Let’s all just go to bed.
I will skip over this part as there is 45min of jumping, bouncing, duvet steeling, crying, whining, position swapping (who is sleeping next to who), some more crying, lights off – no too dark, lights on no too bright, he touched my foot, please tickle me etc.
Ava has decided she wants me to sleep in her bed. Aiden wants to sleep with me so we all traipse off to Ava’s room and the 3 of us squeeze into the single bed. At this point I am questioning why I even thought I could attempt this mission. What was I thinking? This can’t be done. It actually can’t be done. Note to self to purchase a white flag so I can waive it in defeat. I have lost the will to live.
We are all back in my room, back in my bed, obviously.
I have turned off the pool pump, unplugged the DSTV decoder, and yelled at the dog to stop licking his balls.
FINALLY, darkness, quiet, peace. The kids have settled.
I am silently optimistic that I may be on the home stretch and sleep may be within my grasp when suddenly we hear
“For the first time in forever …. There’ll be magic there’s be fun!”
being belted out by Ava’s Anna doll from under the duvet!
Everyone’s heads pop up from the duvet like meercats.
Mission aborted. Mission aborted. Mayday!