Thursday, March 7, 2013

Brothers in the Night

Parenting is a series of trade-offs.


  • While it's great when your kids finally get out of diapers, it also means that you now need to acquaint yourself with public bathrooms on family outings.
  • Sure it's easier when the baby starts to feed herself, but it also means you'll be washing peas out of her hair several times a day.
  • Naturally you've longed to hear your child utter his or her first precious words, but it also means you'll soon be hearing the words "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" shouted at you ninety-six thousand times a day.

My husband and I are currently staring down yet another trade-off in regards to our boys' bedtime.

Having finally emerged from three-kids'-worth of sleep training, we now proudly have all three kids sleeping through the night!

*cue angelic chorus of Hallelujahs*

The kids are even napping regularly, which brings us to the trade-off... because this means they are not ready to go to bed at 7:30pm anymore.

Folks, for years I had made it through the days by repeating the mantra, 

"They go to bed at seven-thirty...they go to bed at seven-thirty..."

when suddenly I found that calming absolute to be in jeopardy. 

All of which gave birth to a time in our house that we now call, "LIGHTS ON LOW".


Baths still happen at 7pm, followed by PJs and stories. Then at 7:30pm, the baby heads off to her crib in the playroom and the boys head into their room, where we dim the lights and leave them to their own devices for exactly one hour...

...behind a closed door.

Yeah, it's pretty much as bad as it sounds.

The two of them proceed to begin their rampage before the door is even fully latched: they empty the drawers; they try on all the clothes; they jump from the changing table onto the beds; they stuff each other into the closet; they throw toys at each others' heads; they put diapers on their feet and dance around; (Why do they do this?  I beg you not to go down this road...) and they generally destroy the room and pummel each other until they become exhausted.

At 8:30 I return to their room, I take stock of the damage, I yell at them to get in their beds, and I turn out the lights.

An hour later my husband returns to the room, picks the boys up from wherever they've passed out, (locations have included under the bed, asleep on a shelf in the closet, and in one of the drawers of the bureau) and he and I head off to bed ourselves.

The next morning we hover over both boys as they put their room back in order, threatening to deny them breakfast until they comply.

It's become our daily ritual, and while I couldn't exactly say it's working for us I will say this ---

it's a trade-off.