Recently, i’ve been blogging about fond (and maybe not so fond) childhood memories. I was a weird, lanky, belching, tomboyish thing, but I did love a lot of the traditional things other kids my age did. Among those includes bedtime stories.
EVERY night, or the ones I can remember anyways, my Dad would read to me. And every night, I remember falling the fuck asleep before the story was through. I loved me some bed time stories. Dr. Seuss, The Golden Books (you remember those!), i’m not sure I was ever very big on Fairy Tales that didn’t include people getting eaten or houses being blown down, but I was probably read those too. It was a tradition.
One that did not really carry over with my kids. WHY?! Because those little turds refuse to go to sleep until after 8:30pm. It really doesn’t sound late, but if I were to read some painfully long story with them, i’d end up falling asleep. Holden is the energizer bunny. He could physically force himself to keep those buggy little eyes open for a thousand stories. For that reason I have kept the story reading to the daytime, and when it’s bed time- IT IS BED TIME. PERIOD!
END OF STORY. NO story!
Well, I don’t know what crawled up Thomas’ ass and died, but suddenly, story night is every night. This seriously cuts into my “THANK THE SWEET BABY JESUS THE KIDS ARE ASLEEP AND I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!” time- even if i’m not the one doing the reading. This is not ok with me.
Not all is lost though, not how I see things.
I am in full belief that we should make our days of parenting as easy and smooth as possible. This doesn’t mean ignoring our spawn (unless they’re screaming just to be obnoxious), or hiring a nanny and then joining the traveling circus- but it does mean using little things to our advantage. Why the hell not?? 18 years is a LONG fucking time to stay sane when dealing with babies, toddlers, children, and teens. A LONG FUCKING TIME.
If i’m the one who has to buy and (sometimes)read these stupid things, or put up with the large chunk out of my night I could be spending CHILD FREE, why not make it beneficial to me? Why not make it work in my favor?
What, I should be reading them stories, wiping their asses and letting them scream in my ear while destroying my living room out of mutual love and admiration?
If you believe that, I have a plot of land to sell you on the moon. It’s a great deal, promise!!
It all depends on FINDING the thing you can use as leverage. Kids are sneaky. What you think might mean the world to them might mean jack shit if you threaten to take it away. Toys? Who the hell cares, I have more! Go ahead and throw them away, I know you’ll eventually buy me more! TV? Shit, I have my imagination you keep telling me to use. Won’t let me go outside? I’ll just drive you crazy INSIDE!
It’s all about trial and error.
Sometimes these things backfire… just a little.
Or a lot.
Thanks to this new annoying habit of bedtime story time in this house, it has made very clear to me what is Holden’s Kryptonite.
You take that story away and you would swear that the sky is falling. It’s the end of the world. Volcanoes are popping up in the streets and aliens are shooting people with lasers.
He took it so seriously that he was practically silent for half of the next day due to the threat of a single fuck up getting the next night’s story taken as well- trust me, I wasn’t complaining. Double win in my eyes. A) quiet kid who is usually a terror. B) I have now found his weakness.
Unfortunately, along with that great knowledge came a fart smelling backfire. When the kid didn’t fuck up? He would use the time he did have to request multiple stories. And by multiple, we’re talking 30+ minutes worth of story time instead of the quick 10 it usually takes- and trust me, he’d milk it farther if he could.
In the end, though, I still think I come out as winning. I know now how to get him to get the fuck in LINE, how to keep him quiet for half a day- AND, he wants Daddy to read the bedtime story and not me.
I have a feeling it’s going to be a quiet Friday night, don’t you? Although, to spare the husband, perhaps I should recommend the classic “Go the Fuck to Sleep”
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