Thursday, April 14, 2016

Horrifying Conversations with Mini: Bedtime Chatting

Hello friends! It's been a while since our last installment of "Horrifying Conversations with Mini", but fear not, this one truly lives up to the name. Let's set the stage for what should have been a precious family moment. My husband, the irascible Cap'n Coupon, has been on the road for the better part of six weeks. On his first night back, he was taking his time tucking the kids into bed and visiting with them, catching up on all the stuff he missed.

I was, meanwhile, sitting on the couch playing games on my phone blissfully not tucking my kids in.  Putting kids to bed is generally not my favorite 3 hours of the day. Oh, what's that? It only takes you 15 minutes? That's wonderful for you. You see, at my house no one wants to go to sleep ever. As soon as I say the word "bedtime", otherwise yawning children find themselves miraculously filled with noise-fueled energy. Everyone wants extra snuggles and attention and suddenly become hungry or thirsty or needing to read a book that is on the opposite side of the house. Did you know basic dental hygiene can take upwards of 40 minutes to complete each night? Well, it certainly can if you are 7 years old and live in my house. Bedtime is also a great opportunity to point out, for example, that a sibling is receiving more attention than they should and to cry about that. It's all very charming and soothing and filled with precious love.

So I'm downstairs tucked under a velvet-soft Costco blanket as happy as a clam while the Cap'n is upstairs taking care of Mini's bedtime. They're reading books, having fun conversations, and just very happy to be together. Then apparently, it got weird. So they started calling for me.

Me: (from downstairs) In a minute! (no intention of moving off of the couch)
Cap'n: (sounding strange) NOW! PLEASE! RIGHT AWAY!
Me: (hurrying upstairs, concerned there's a problem) What is it, you guys?
Cap'n: (perched on the edge of the bed, looking shell shocked, staring at Mini who is smiling happily) Tell Mommy... Tell her.
Mini: Daddy and I were having a conversation.
Me: Yes?
Mini: And daddy asked me about all my favorite things to see if they changed while he was gone.
Me: OK.
Mini: So he asked me - what's your favorite food? And I said blueberry pie.
Me: (nodding) OK.
Mini: And he asked - who is your favorite singer? And I said Barry Manilow.
Me: Of course.
Mini: And he said - what is your favorite drink? And I said the blood of my enemies.
Me: (mouth open, blinking) 
Cap'n: I'm very... I'm not sure I...
Mini: (shrugs, snuggles closer to her daddy) Read me a story?

With the Cap'n temporarily distracted, I quickly made my escape down the hallway to the sound of him asking confusedly: "What exactly do you guys do while I'm gone?"

I'd like to say I have no idea where that comment came from (I blame the older siblings), but let's be honest, she is who she is. This is the same kid who once made the argument that she didn't have to practice backstroke because of murder. So in case you were wondering if Mini is any different now that she is a very grown up first grader, the answer is no.

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  1. Mini and my youngest are far too similar.

    mmmm... soooooft Costco blankets. We just picked up a bunch of those and replaced the ones in our living room. :) Bliss.

  2. Go back to your Costco blanket! I love mine (all of them!). My 7yo steals mine, so you should watch out - and know that the blood of her enemies should wash out of the blanket with a little Oxyclean.

  3. Energy at the end of the night = cat energy. Cats who are lethargic and then at 2 AM are suddenly running through the house, bouncing off walls and furniture and occasionally your head. Cat energy.

  4. My three kids match the profile of your three kids almost exactly, and I love reading about your adventures in parenting. I, too, have run the bedtime marathon and wanted to pull my hair out. A couple of years ago I hit on the perfect solution for my family -- I pay my kids to go to bed on time. I set an alarm on my phone for 8:00 -- that is the warning that bed time is almost here and they should get moving. Another alarm goes off at 8:15 -- all kids who are in bed, in pajamas, teeth brushed, been to the bathroom, water bottles filled, and lights off get paid a quarter. If they get up for any reason after that, I get my quarter back. If they aren't in pajamas by 8:15 (or if they are fighting, or I have to keep reminding them to go to bed), they have to pay me a quarter -- or two, if they are really pushing my buttons. I did the math the first year I tried this, and if all three kids went to bed on time with no fighting for the entire school year, it would cost me about $130. The kids have a chance to score extra money and collect all the state/national park quarters just by behaving and going to bed on time, so they love it. In reality, it probably only costs me about $90 a year. And it's worth every penny!

    And as a bonus, my bedtime alarm occasionally goes off during the monthly elementary school PTA meeting, reminding the PTA president she has been talking for too long! This year's PTA president set a goal of never hearing my alarm during a meeting, so we get through our business much more efficiently. :-)

  5. This is one my favorite topics on your blog. I love that child.

  6. I only have one to duct tape into bed each night and it is a whipping. She is 10. I think she is too old to need this ritual anymore, but this is the only time of the day that she actually talks to me about things that are important to her. I would not be surprised in the least if the "blood of her enemies" is her favorite drink too. She says stuff like that to see if I am really listening. Crazy kid!

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