Lather, Rinse, Repeat

They say that preschoolers thrive on routine. So, while we try to shake things up a bit in the middle of the day (mainly on the weekends, of course, since Angel and I are at work Monday - Friday), we try to keep the morning and evening routine relatively...routine. The kids rise at roughly the same time each morning and are in the bed by 8 or so each night.

Funny thing is, just like Mommy and Daddy like to keep a consistent routine, so do my kids. A routine of mischief and mayhem.

The mornings go a little something like this. Victor wakes up with a cheery, "I wake UPPPP!!!!" sometime between 5:45 and 6:15. He makes morning pee, I get him dressed and he plays quietly while I work out. Well - I would LIKE for him to play quietly. Most mornings, he's throwing things at me or trying to lay across my back while I do push ups while screaming at the top of his lungs that he wants his brother to wake up and play already.

Angel's morning mayhem mainly relates to being a cranky bastard. Some days are better than others, but he's definitely not a morning person. Don't get me wrong. Some mornings are a dream - everyone cooperates, I get in a full workout and actually get to walk out the door fully clothed before racing to the train.

But those days are few and far between...

The evening ritual is where they like to pull out all the stops. From the moment we pick them up from daycare, they know the clock is ticking until bedtime. And under no circumstances are they going to go to bed without a fight.

It starts with horseplay at the dinner table. Some nights, it's simply making gross noises to make the other one laugh. Sometimes they argue with each other across the table. Tonight, they decided to see how far they could throw their watermelon while I was in the bathroom.

Good times.

Invariably, there is the whiny-crying-pleading session over playing just a little bit more before we go up for bath. Then we have to pick toys for the bath. And another toy. Maybe just one more. Bathtime can go smoothly or resemble the Titanic, depending on their mood.

Books are easy. They love books.

Then the battle really begins. Just one more book. Can we read a BIG book? Can we read LOTS of big books? Once we declare lights out, the litany of excuses begin:

  • I need to make pee
  • I need to make poo
  • I need water
  • I need to make pee again
  • I want you to rub my back
  • I want you to rub my belly
  • I need another toy for my tunnel
  • I want you to rub my back for A LONG TIME
  • I want to sleep in your bed

Every night, I know it's coming. I hope that it' just a phase...but it's been 4 years.

I have to go now - apparently Angel needs to make poo.

Anonymous said...

I go through a similar routine at my house. I have recently found that by giving my son a shower vs. a bath, it does cut down that time by 15 minutes or so. Tonight it was "I am hungry" and "I need a drink" ;)

Team Suzanne said...

I think my mother-in-law would have liked more grandchildren, and at one point I told her--sure thing. I'll have six if you arrange for someone else to handle bed time.

Diapers, sleep deprivation, messy house, sibling quarreling, lack of personal time--it's all a drop in the bucket compared to the pain of bedtime. My kids are 6 and 9 and we're pretty much out of the dark period now--but man, for a while, between 7:30 and 9:30 pm was ugly.

A said...

Find out how long the sitter is letting them nap. Just a thought. On a less serious note, if you allow your kids caffeine, then sugar-free hot chocolate an hour or so before bedtime. Caffeine makes children sleepy, but any sugar they ingest will wake them up.

Also, they ask for another book/back rub/glass of water/whatever because at some point, you gave in when they asked. Mine had night terrors, but would usually go to bed fine, they just wake in the middle of the night. At bedtime, it was drink, book, bedtime. If they were upset, I would sit in their room, but we didn't do anything, I just sat there. I think I bored my kids to sleep...

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