Kids and bedtime.
I'm sure you agree with me when I say that those are a dreaded combination of words. Since the minute I was pregnant with kid numero uno, bedtime has been a challenge. When your overripe belly is doing all sorts of alien acrobatics from the inside, while your bleary, red eyes stare at the clock, well... you know that you may never have a full 8 hours of sleep again.
Its almost as exciting as Christmas, isn't it? Ooooh, what kind of bed time surprises are we going to get tonight? Will it be temper-tantrums because Gracie doesn't want to listen to Ella Fitzgerald, but we can't find her Madonna Immaculate Collection cd? Or will it be Annelie, freaking out because I refuse to read Goodnight Moon 76 times in a row? Or maybe it will be another episode like when Annelie smacked Gracie in the eye with a hardback book while she was sleeping, resulting in Gracie's first shiner... Oh, the possibilities.
And the surprises don't stop after the kids fall asleep. Sometimes they are down right adorable, like when I go to hop into bed at the end of an exhausting day, to find a gathering of cuddly critters tucked between my sheets.
Sometimes the surprises suck - like when I'm exhausted and I pull back the covers to climb into bed, and discover a ginormous puddle of water and a leaking sippy cup.
Sometimes the surprises suck even more than that - like when I discover that the puddle in my bed isn't water.
And sometimes the surprises severely suck. Like last night, when, at two o'clock in the morning, 2.5 year old Annelie was huddled over the dog food bowl, chomping on Kibble. That was moments after she decided she wanted to do gymnastics in the living room. And only moments before that, she was informing me - while I was struggling to pull the sheets over my head so that she wouldn't see me and *please, please, I beg you please* go back to bed - that, "Peter Pan wants to play." Of course he does.
At the moment, I fully understand a mother's excitement over her kids going away to college. Right now, I'm thinking that both of my kids should go to school out of state. Heck, out of country. Maybe then I'll be finally be able to have a surprise-free night of sleep. And though I might miss those little bed time surprises, I'm just so darned excited to one day have a full night's sleep again, that I've let the count-down to college begin.
Will I miss these surprises once my girls are grown? I'd like to say no... but I'm sure I will. The cuddliest time of day - er, night - for Annelie is about 2 am. If she didn't wake me up by smacking me in the face with her bottle on a nightly basis, I'm not sure if I'd even get a single cuddle out of her. Sweet...
But whatever, I'm still counting down the days until they go off to college.
Aprox. 5,110 days for Gracie, and 5,840 for Annelie. I can't wait.