November 30, 2015 by Katia
If you are anything like me and almost forty, then you might recall that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer and one of his girlfriends are locked up in her apartment (and you probably can’t remember why) and within several hours they go through the full gamut of emotions and experiences that a couple in a relationship would typically encounter. From tenderness to nagging, accusing, fighting, drama and reconciliation.
Welcome to bedtime.
If your children have entered toddlership then you’ve been initiated into the Five More Minutes Club. Ways to tell you’re a member? You’re familiar with the literary masterpiece Go the Eff to Sleep and are inevitably reminded of it at least once a day.
I have nothing against my children. They’ve provided me with some of my life’s highlights. The things that they do to my heart are magical.
They’ve also provided me with 2-3 hour long bedtimes and opportunities to question my sanity. And theirs.
During bedtime I’ve heard things like:
I AM sleeping! (– 3 Year Old)
But I don’t know HOW to sleep! (– 6 Year Old)
I’ve succumbed to the dictatorship of madness that only a toddler can enforce and lay in my child’s toddler bed dressed in winter accessories and on another occasion accepted his “request”to wear his Paw Patrol costume (Chase IS on the case).
For a period of about a year I’ve had to lie down on a blanket on the floor in my toddler’s room with the lights fully on and pretend that I was sleeping. I thought it was a good pitch and on occasion I got him to join me. Other times I’d have the blanket covering me and my make-shift stuffy pillow furiously removed by my toddler.
It is very clear that my children view sleep as The Enemy and in my attempt to get them to love thy, I’ve had to function as a hypnotist, mediator, white noise machine, sleep bully, sleep coach, sleep apostle and Tree #2 just to get my kids to surrender.
Sometimes I walk out of their rooms two and a half hours later defeated. Not because they hadn’t fallen asleep but because of what it took. The tears and frustration, sometimes on both sides. Some days I float out of their rooms gently brushing the time spent off my shoulder and giving it a tiny virtual pat.
When I was in highschool I studied philosophy. I still remember the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus’s famous saying: No man ever steps in the same river twice. In the current phase of my life this saying perfectly captures and describes the parenting experience. When I open the door and enter My Child For the Evening’s room, I never know what river I’ll be stepping into.
This post was a Netflix Stream Team post on the topic “Five More Minutes”. Is bedtime a struggle for you? Do you let your kids watch TV in the evening and if so which shows?