Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Proverbial Inch

..becomes a mile.

Bedtime is 8pm.

Yet invariably on the nights when Double Daddy is out rocking with the band, somehow I get sucked---or suckered---into the vortex of deliberate delays.

Insidiously (twinsidiously, I'm double-teamed), the requests work their way from entirely unlikely to be granted: "Mom! Scooby Doo comes on at 8...could we stay up to watch it?" to those that could possibly be met with an affirmative response, "Can we listen and dance in the den to KidzBop? It is good exercise," to the downright irresistible, "Mommy, could we please stay up a little bit extra and read silently for 15 minutes?" Deny Sarah access to Charlotte's Web or Darren's to The Pick of the Litter? Not me, not tonight.

A simple granted wish, and the flood gates are open. The levees broken.

15 minutes become 30.

Mommy: "Okay you two, put your bookmarks in, and go up and get ready for bed."

Sarah: "But Mom, I really want to finish this chapter. There's only a page left..."

Mommy: "Okay, but you need to be honest with me and tell me when you've finished it."

Sarah: "I will."

2 minutes later...

Sarah: "I'm finished."

Darren (shamelessly playing the unspoken twins-mandate-fairness card): "Now, I need to finish my chapter! I'm so close..."

Mommy: "Okay, Darren. Sarah, why don't you go on up and get started."

Sarah: "Why don't I just start my next chapter? I won't ask for more time to finish this one. This book is just so good..."

See what I'm up against?

Things simply descended from there. Lights were out and all were in bed, but far from asleep at 8:45.

Darren: "Mom, Mom! You've got to come up here and see what Sarah did!"

Mommy (yelling from downstairs): "No tattling. You all need to go to sleep! It's late, and you have school tomorrow."

Darren: "No Mom, I'm not tattling. Sarah did something really impressive to her loft bed!"

How can one not respond to a word like "impressive?" Plus "doing something" to her bed seems a mandatory call to action.

Until tonight, she never struck me as the canopy bed type. Next time Daddy has band practice, we're starting the bedtime routine at 7pm....unless of course someone is at a pivotal chapter in Harriet the Spy.

Make me feel better. Share a moment of maternal weakness. From the confessing commenters, will select a fellow weakly-spined mama who will win a copy of Dawn Meehan's hysterical Because I Said So and a signed copy of Twinspiration to boot.

Spill it, Sisters.
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Bethany said...

Aw! Sorry, no tips. I was a constant reader when I was a kid. I still love to read nowadays...long car trips when I don't have to drive...ohh I love them!

BoufMom9 said...

oh boy! I have the same thing, times 7! Even the teens...ok, who am I kidding? They are the worst! (and, eventually, the twins will be joining intoo!)

Hmm, weakness.... I just posted about Emma convincing me into letting her sleep in bed with me the other night because she "missed daddy."

LOVE your creative kiddies & LOVE their desire to read too :)

cat said...

Oh I am so sure that the reading one will get my arm twisted as well. You see, I do it myself - when I really should sleep, I'd rather read.

Steph said...

Twinsidiously...hehehe. I can see why you were torn though, as they were reading which is a good thing.

A moment of weakness for me...which one do I choose? Probably the one I'm most ashamed of is giving them cookies before dinner...I started dinner late so it was my fault.

I would love a signed copy of your book, even though I read it long before I "met" you, and a friend is now reading my copy and is loving it as well!

Nancy said...

Oh my gosh! *I* do that..."I'm just going to finish my chapter." then I'll get to the end of the chapter and look at the clock..."But it's so close to 11:00 - I'll just read until then." And then oops..."I'll just finish my chapter..." And before I know it, it's 1:00! heh

Oh let's see. I'm a BIG pushover with the TV. "Just one more show, mom?" ...And I'll let them...because I'm reading my book ;)

mommytoalot said...

LOL...too funny..
This post made me smile...and laugh.
lovely children you have Cheryl..bright and funny

Safire said...

Hehe...I was that way as a child. My mom finally got tired of finding me with a flashlight in my closet reading that she gave me a book light and free time to read if I went to bed an hour early. Totally thought I was winning with this one when I was 9!

My biggest weakness is getting dressed. When we have no where to go, why bother getting dressed? There are several days a week my little girls is in her pjs all day long. And she LOVES it.

Donna said...

Um, I'm impressed! How did she hold the canopy up? What's it stuck in? You're kids are so ingenius,um. I mean "impressive!"

Moment of weakness - (the first) one that comes to mind would have to be the "popcorn for breakfast" incident. And I will try and retain some dignity by not explaining how we arrived at that point. Okay, FINE - I'll tell. They asked. ;-)

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

Tag-teamed for sure! I am always tag-teamed by my little schemers! Two minds work better than one.

Cecily R said...

Uhhhhhhh, IF I'm lucky, my kids are in bed by 9:30...IF. Feel better? :)

Terra said...

maternal weekness? Me? NO WAY. Hardy har har. daily, my friend. daily.

MereCat said...

I can't ever get my kids out of the park. And I linger, and give 'em five more minutes, then five more, then five more. I leave their lights on at night longer than I should because I know my daughter likes to read in her crib. My son usually gets extra juice if he asks since he gets up from nap before my daughter. And there are plenty more things like this that happen all the time. I'm a sucker. Which reminds me, they both got lollipops at lunch today. Major toddler no-no, but I watched them very carefully and made them give them up before they became dangerous.

Jen C. said...

Just tonight at dinner, my 17-month-old girl signed "more" and asked for Kool-aid in her milk. I was so ecstatic that she signed 2 signs (more and milk...even though she meant juice) that I poured some strawberry koolaid into her whole milk rationalizing that it was like strawberry milk. Of course, at this point, baby 17-mo-old boy just had to reach for the juice and smile to get some koolaid squirted in his milk. I'm such a softie. Moments of weakness everyday. Just glad to know I'm not the only one. ;)