On Bedtime

Look at how sweet and innocent she looks. Lies!

My daughter is a horrible sleeper. Horrible. Tonight, when I was trying to get her to go to bed, the only thing I could do to settle her was sit in the dark and pat her on the back as she lay in her tiny bed. To ease my impatient-to-do-anything-else mind, I decided I’d count to 300. One, two, three, pat, pat, pat. All the way up to 300. She was still and peaceful. I sighed with relief and took my hand off her little back. Her eyes jerked open. Nope. Three hundred more pats. Still no sleeping toddler. Finally, around pat 725, she was out for the night.

Sometimes, parenthood is intuitive, easy, fun. Sometimes it’s an uphill climb up Mount Everest.

Bedtime for me takes some serious Olympian-level endurance and patience. I am sleepy. There was probably lots of laughter and silliness earlier in the evening, but that’s all over by the time the kids (yes, two of them. And they’re two and four) are in their beds. I need sheer focus and determination to see my task through. But I’m no good with determination. I want them to just go to bed, quickly, with no drama. Instead everyone is thirsty, and has a boo-boo and needs to poop. No! Go to bed!

I get frustrated and overwhelmed and then I want to quit. I get angry. It’s very difficult for me to focus on something that is hard for me. I’d rather procrastinate, thinking of a million other things I should be doing instead of the situation at hand. But I don’t want to be like that. I want focus. I want to be the kind of person that finishes what she starts, no matter what the obsticle.

But my kids don’t let me dither. They keep my crazy head on one straight and deliberate path. I’m so thankful to them for that.