Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Five Stages of Bedtime

Dear Em,
When it's my bedtime, I have a little party in my head. I literally can't get to my bed fast enough, & I cherish every last moment of sleep (until you come running into our room at 6am). I don't care that it's 7:30pm on a Friday night, BRING ME MY BED.

You experience bedtime a little differently. In fact, I think bedtime might be the worst thing in your entire four year old life. You might even eat vegetables to avoid going to bed. Although you go to bed every night, somehow it still comes as a surprise when we announce it is bedtime each night- even though we've tried to prepare you for it's coming every fifteen minutes for the last hour.

When Daddy & I cheerfully tell you it's time for bed, we may as well be telling you we burned all your toys & you have to wear only brown colors for the rest of your life. It's like a disaster has struck & nothing will be right in the world ever again...or for the next fifteen minutes.

You've heard of the five stages of grieving? I know them quite well, because it seems like you go through them every night. I like to call them the five stages of bedtime.

- Em: "What?!!!! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I only got to watch five minutes of my show. I just went to bed last night. It's not even dark out. I didn't get to play the game I wanted to play. I didn't get dessert. I'm thirsty/hungry/have to go potty."
- Daddy & I: "You go to bed every night. How do you still not know that you will have to go to bed EVERY night? How is this a surprise?"

- Em: It really depends on the night. It can go anything like "I'm going to make my body go limp at the bottom of the stares & not help my parents out with this bedtime process at all" to "I'm going to scream at my parents & promise to never be friends with them again for as long as I live."
- Daddy & I: "Sigh." There are times when I start to go into denial at this point & wonder, "Would it be possible for you to just put yourself to bed?"

- Em: "What if I just watch one more show? How about I take a really long bath, & you just read me one book instead of two? How about you read me five books & I'll put a smile on my face?"
- Daddy & I: "If you work with us, we might have time for an extra book tonight. If you don't get off the floor/get out of the bathtub/put your pajamas on/stop screaming at us, we won't have time for books tonight."

- Em: (See above photo) This is the point in time where you're not exactly cooperative but also not completely unmanageable. There is a lot of crying during this stage.
- Daddy & I: "Do we have any wine in the house? I think I need wine & ibuprofen."

- Em: "I love you, Mommy/Daddy." This normally hits around the time you realize baths are fun or that bedtime involves snuggles & books & prayers & hugs & kisses. Plus, you have your trusty Lamby to weather the whole crap-deal of actually having to sleep at night. The lights go off & you get to gaze up at glow in the dark stars from your comfy bed. It's a difficult life you lead.
- Daddy & I: "We still have laundry & dishes & work to be done, but we're too tired to function. Looks like it's bedtime for us too. Do we really have to do this again in 24 hours?"

I love you so,

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