Lately, bedtime at my house has been more frustrating than it has been in months. Actually, frustrating is too mild of a word to describe what it has felt like. I have actually been feeling enraged.
The two hours between dinner time and bed time have somehow morphed into three. It’s not the length of the time that is getting to me, although it is a contributing factor because my “me time” does not happen until the kids are asleep. The issue is more about what goes on during those three hours. At our house, the time in between dinner and bed time is “quiet time”. During “quiet time”, we do relaxing, quiet things that get everybody ready for sleep. We usually get ready for bed and then cuddle up to read some books or watch a movie. Normally, I love “quiet time” because it give me a chance to be close with my little guys, who are usually running at full tilt all day long and far too busy to stop for hugs.
Lately, “quiet time” has not been very quiet, nor has it been relaxing. There has been much running around and around the living room, D asking me for one thing after another, after another, wild jumping on the bed, and all kinds of other activities that just scream “We’re fighting off sleep with everything we’ve got”. Parents everywhere dread bedtimes like this, and I’m no different. My response to all of these shenanigans has been to get more and more and more irritated as the time passes. By the time that they finally get to sleep, I feel wiped out because getting them to sleep has been a battle of epic proportions.
Tonight, I decided to do something different. I decided that this evening, “quiet time” would take place outdoors. Not only that, but I decided that we would go for a nice, long walk. It was great. We walked, we talked, and Dylan even sang to me. Blake fell asleep in the stroller about halfway through our walk, which was about when Dylan decided to stop walking and climb into his seat to ride the rest of the way. We saw trees, cows, neighbors, and the evening sky.
Tonight, the boys still got to bed about two and a half hours after dinner instead of two. That is not the important part, though. The important part is that during those two and a half hours of “quiet time”, I did not yell, nor did I get snippy or snappy. I was not even frustrated, not even for a minute. I was happy. The boys were happy.