Dare I say the words? Everything is relatively calm. My son is playing minecraft on his laptop, he has even managed to eat his dinner for once.
My daughter is in her room watching youtube videos about putting on makeup.
Unfortunately it is 9:30pm, I am getting tired, everyone needs to be up at 6 tomorrow morning and I know that from the second I utter the words “it’s time to get ready for bed” it’s going to take about three hours before I can even contemplate getting into bed myself.
First, I warn my daughter that I will be sending my son upstairs to bed in ten minutes. Im met with a torrent of bad language and a shouted but detailed description of how much she hates my son and how Im supposed to let him stay on his laptop all night so he doesn’t come upstairs and why I should of had an abortion the second I found out I was pregnant again!
I quickly say “it’s going to be time for you to get ready for bed soon” and make a swift exit whilst trying to ignore the shouting coming from her room.
I go downstairs and tell my son he will need to turn off his laptop in five minutes. Apparently that’s no good because he is halfway through a game. I compromise and make it ten minutes because I can hear the shouting has turned to stomping upstairs which suggests my daughter has started the long process of avoiding going to bed.
I wait for exactly nine minutes to be over and inform my son that there is one minute left of the ten minutes. He isn’t happy but this time accepts it. After another minute I tell him to go upstairs.
My son walks upstairs. My daughter welcomes him nicely….only joking, my daughter screams at him and calls him a word that even I wouldn’t say. My son tries to ignore her but she carries on. She knows that if she winds him up she can avoid going to bed. I run upstairs to intervene before it’s too late….but it’s too late! Its got too much for my son, hes flipped and thrown a bottle of water into my daughter’s room. The bottle of water has hit her picture over and world war three has begun.
I remove my daughter from the room and tell her to go downstairs because she is contributing to the fact my son is now punching his bedroom wall and crying uncontrollably and she is continuing to shout and swear at him. My daughter avoids going downstairs by fighting me. I stay firm, she storms downstairs shouting about how all she wants to do is go to bed and I never let her sleep. She starts throwing the contents of my kitchen around while I try to calm my son down.
Eventually my son is calmer, I’ve told him step by step to put his pyjamas on cleaned his teeth and settled him in his bed for the time being.
I go downstairs to deal with my daughter. I make her put the kitchen back together. I then inform her that she now has a choice, she can go upstairs and get ready for bed without verbally attacking my son or I can fetch her duvet and she can sleep downstairs. Because she has a choice, she chooses to go and get ready for bed muttering about how much she hates me because I never let her go to bed.
I wait ten minutes and go upstairs. My son has got out of bed. He informs me he can’t go to sleep because I haven’t put his uniform in the right order and I need to iron his shirt. I rearrange his uniform and have a detailed discussion about how I will have time to iron the shirt in the morning because I have to wake my daughter two hours before him and get him back to bed.
I go to my daughters room to find her sat on the floor in her clothes looking at her school bag. I gently remind her that she is meant to be getting ready for bed and she not so gently informs me that she is sorting out her school books for tomorrow and continues to stare at her bag. I offer to help. This sometimes works but tonight it doesn’t go down so well. Apparently offering to help her sort her books while she gets ready for bed is actually me stopping her going to bed every day of her life. I opt for giving her a time limit and tell her I will be back in ten minutes hoping to find the bag sorted and her in her pyjamas.
In ten minutes I return to my daughters room to find her in her clothes staring at her school bag. Im greeted with a shouted “what now!”
I calmly but firmly inform my daughter that the bag needs to be finished now and she needs to put her pyjamas on for bed. Im sworn at and informed she is doing that. I leave the room and she puts her pyjamas on muttering about how I never let her go to bed and it’s not fair because she is so tired and she needs to go to bed.
The next minute I hear stomping across the landing and the shower turns on. I question my daughter about why she has put her pyjamas on then decided to shower when she should be in bed. She shouts at me and starts screaming that she has to have a shower, hasn’t done her homework and I won’t let her go to bed. My son gets up.
My daughter screams all through her shower about how she is never allowed to sleep while I put my son to bed. To be fair I can understand why he is struggling to go to sleep!
I go downstairs to iron my daughter’s school uniform and then hang it on the bar of her bed nearest her door.
The shower finishes and the screaming continues while my daughter puts her pyjamas on again.
She then extremely nicely and lovingly informs me she is ready for bed. “well done” I say! She stands there. I ask her if she is going to go and get into bed. She tells me she hasn’t cleaned her teeth. I tell her to clean her teeth. She tells me she can’t clean her teeth until I have passed her, her toothbrush. I walk past her and get her toothbrush. My son gets up because he can’t sleep.
My daughter goes into her room and has a panic attack because her school uniform is in the wrong place. She informs me it needs to be re-ironed and put in the right place then goes mad because I disagree about the ironing bit and move it for her.
I leave her to get into bed and go and put my son to bed…again.
I go back to say night to my daughter to find her sat on her bedroom floor staring at her school bag. I tell her to get into bed and she tells me she needs a story on to sleep. I calmly ask her if she would like me to put her CD on for her while she gets into bed. Fortunately this time she agrees. The CD is on. My daughter is in bed. I try to ignore her grumbling about how she is never allowed to go to bed on time and won’t get enough sleep before she gets up for school because I know she is so tired that the grumbling will soon stop.
My son shouts for me. He just needs me to turn his plug socket off, reassure him yet again that I will iron the shirt in the morning and say goodnight again before he settles into bed to possibly not sleep but at least stay there for now.
I give myself a pat on the back for my achievement of getting both kids in bed before 3am, make myself a cup of tea and fall asleep before I drink it, knowing I need to be up in less than four hours.
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