Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"The worst night ever in my whole, whole life"

To quote a teary-eyed Lucas, last night was "the worst night ever in my whole, whole life." Ok...that may be a bit overly dramatic. It was certainly not the worst night of my life...but it did rank pretty high on the suckage scale. I had a plan to watch LOST last night. Yes, I know...I know...I've whined about my LOST woes in this blog before. However, LOST in the one single hour of television I watch each week. Other than that program once a week, my TV exists only to play PBS cartoons. Is one hour a week really to much to ask? The kids can have the other 167 hours. Anyway...being Tuesday evening, I got my kids ready for bed early. We put on jammies, read stories, brushed teeth and everyone was happily tucked into bed at 7:00pm. Of course, on any other night, that would have been the end of the story. But no....last night was Tuesday night.....my night. So unfortunately, that is far from the end of the story.

It began with Sophie crying that she could not go to sleep unless I laid down with her. I had laid down with her once already, but sure...I'd do it again if it would get her to sleep. So I laid down with her until I thought she was asleep. Of course, as I heaved my not-so-tiny body out of her tiny twin bed and around the side bed rails, Sophie stirred. By the time I was seated back in the living room, Sophie was once again out of her room asking me to lay down with her. Ugh...no, it was 5 minutes until LOST. So I sent her back to her bed with a firm command to go to sleep. Nicky was the next one out....asking me for Scotch tape because he had rubbed a hole in the picture he was coloring with markers. He is a bit of an aggressive artist. Yes, I know I shouldn't let him color in bed when it is time to sleep, but at that moment, I did not care as long as he was IN his bed. I sent him back to bed with a piece of Scotch tape and the threat of bodily harm if I saw him again that evening. Apparently, I did not frighten him because he was back again in about 30 seconds asking for more tape. By this time, LOST had started and I was getting incredibly annoyed. After several more trips in and out of their bedrooms, I told the kids they could stay in the living room as long as they laid down on the couch and were quiet. I was missing key plot points on LOST and I would deal with the kids when the show was over. Of course, it was ludicrous to think Sophie and Nicholas would lay on the couch quietly while I watched my show. No...they wrestled, they screamed, they giggled, they threw all of the cushions on the floor. I simply turned the TV up. If I had tried forcing them back to bed, I would have spent the next hour patrolling their bedrooms and would have missed my show altogether. So I put up with the hooligans and their outlandish behavior, growling half-hearted threats during commercials. At one point, I asked Lucas...who by the way was being a perfect angel and sitting quietly beside me...if he would mind if I sold his brother and sister on the black market. Did he want to be an only child? Have his own room? At first he said no...then he thought better of it and told me he would think about it and get back to me.

When my show finally ended...which by the way, I will have to rewatch because I missed several important points...the real fun began. At first Nicholas obediently went to his bedroom and climbed in his bed. Sophie, however, was not going to be obedient. She did not want to go to bed. She screamed. She ranted. She raved. She threw all of the blankets and pillows off of her bed. She then laid on her bare bed kicking her bed rail, repeating the phrase, "I want up! I want up!" She told me she didn't like me and that it was "not fair" and that morning would take "a hundred years." That's her new catchphrase...everything she does not want to do takes a hundred years. I threatened her with everything that I could think of....including taking away her crayons for a few days. That, of course, was stupid because the crayons entertain her and so taking them away just punishes me. It amazes me how hard it is to come up with concrete, workable consequences in the heat of the moment. Of course, when Nicholas saw how Sophie was acting, he decided to join in. He was not angry. He was not even remotely upset. I could see on his face that he had no real agenda. He just thought it would be fun to jump on the Sophie bandwagon. So he began to scream. And he tossed all of his pillows and blankets on the floor. He didn't like mommy and said the whole thing was unfair. He was having a grand old time.

Eventually, after half an hour of threatening them, I had about all I could take. I went in the kitchen and called Ruanita at work to warn her that her children were not going to survive the evening. Of course, she didn't answer the phone. As I sat on top of the kitchen table, phone in hand, contemplating if it were really possibly to strangle oneself or if I would simply lose consciousness and then breath again, Lucas came into the room with sad crocodile tears. He announced that this was the "worst night ever in his whole, whole life". Poor Lucas...he had school in the morning and was being kept awake by the protesters. There is no way that he was going to be able to focus in school tomorrow if he did not get to bed. I made one final last-ditched effort to get them to sleep. I began with Sophie and laid in her bed with her. I spoke softly and told her that I loved her, but that I was very disappointed in her behavior this evening. I laid the guilt on thick, in true motherly fashion. Sophie cried, which I guess is a good thing. The fact that she feels remorse at least tells me that she is not a sociopath...comforting information to know. She eventually calmed and fell asleep. I then went to Nicholas' room and did the same. However, he was untouched by the guilt. Perhaps it was because he wasn't really angry or upset...he was just being opportunistic in his tantrum. He was having fun. However, seeing that his partner in crime had calmed down, he quickly quieted and fell asleep.

Finally, the riot had ended. The uprising had been quelled...two hours and 45 minutes after I first put the kids to bed. Lucas fell asleep quickly when the others were silenced. I am sure everyone will be sleep-deprived beasts for Ruanita this morning. I am considering starting our bedtime routine at 4:00pm this evening...does that seem too early?


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