Bedtime for Iolani

First - getting it out of the way. This book - I want.

Let me do a dramatic (traumatic maybe) interpretation of our bedtime "process".  In no way should anyone interpret this as me being upset, angry, or feeling empty/depress - because this is my life and I'm enjoying.  I'm lucky, I'm blessed, I'm crazy.

It all begins at 6 p.m. when I leave work. I head out of the office, get to the car, and drive home.  This is the last time I will be all by myself in any shape, way, or form until the next day when I drop Iolani off at day care. Mondays, I get time to talk to my aging father.  I'm turning 35, my dad is getting old.  Actually, he's constantly between surgeries right now - and I think he's just excited to talk to someone who isn't there to borrow a tool, ask him to cook, or fix a car.

I get home and I'm lucky to get my shoes off before I have a child on my leg.  I have only one - so it must be Iolani.  Da Hubbie is either sprawled on the couch - on the verge of being absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of energy Iolani brings home from daycare.  Sometimes I wonder - what does she do all day?  I mean really...how can she possibly be playing ALL DAY LONG and come home ready to swing from the rafters?  Hmmm...how long IS that nap time?

I drop my work bag somewhere in the corner.  Iolani is either asking for Nemo candy, my computer, my phone, money, Starbucks, crackers, milk, juice, world peace, whereabouts of Hoffa's grave, her bear, stickers, mail, valet guy, Ben, Pastor Sandie, or some other random bit of something that she saw for 2 seconds three weeks ago.

Tired yet?  If so - suck it...it's only 6:35 and you haven't even started making dinner yet.

Dinner...whatever...I make something. Veggies, a meat, a carb.  Iolani eats only the carb. Alex asks me about the calorie count for the individual serving I prepared, and I'm still thinking about the fact that I didn't get to finish that first cup of coffee this morning.  But, I'm starting to think about the bathtub...

As Iolani fidgets at the table, I start to mention that if she's done with her dinner it's time for tub.  Magically - she's back in her seat and food is again entering into her mouth. "Still eating mommy"

15 minutes later, she's away from the table.  I mention the tub...Wizz...back at the table "Still eating mommy"

After three or four times of this - I start the tub. I'm done eating and I'm ready for the next step of the evening.  Tub.

Once the tub is filled, it is all about chasing our daughter around the house, snagging pieces of clothing as we can.  Once she's running around the house squealing...with no clothes - I start in on the "Get in the tub" line.  I try it a couple of times and I throw up my hands and announce "Mommy's tub"

I never get tub any more.  I get showers. I used to get tub time.  I used to fill the tub up with a bathbomb and shut the door and clean my toes.  Now...happy to say...I remembered deodorant today, and I brushed my teeth.

With one declaration of "Mommy's tub" the girl's in the tub.  She's playing and she likes to tell me - "Mommy go away...go check email".  With the reluctant sigh, I grab my phone and sit on the closed toilet and watch Iolani spill water all over the bathroom floor.  Soon, after a huge display of emotion - I wash her hair.

Then she says - "Set the timer, two minutes"  That our two minute warning that tub time is almost over. Next stop hair and teeth brushing. After a little battle with the tooth brush, girlie's got clean teeth and tangle free hair.

Then...off to bed - er - Off to the bedroom.  This is where the battle begins.  Step one: Enter Pajamas.  If she's in a good mood, you can distract her through conversation and get her into a night set.  If she's in a bad mood - it can range from giving her space to an all out wrestle match to get the PJs on.  Recently we've given up on the complete set of night clothes and Missy goes "drawers" free.  Whatever - I need sleep.

Time to wrestle with dad.  Iolani will climb all over Alex, declaring him a horse or jungle gym.  I don't know how he does it. Iolani jumps on me one time and I'm at a loss.  I'm older.

Once I've grown tired of their horseplay, or I'm bored with Facebook - I'll go in and relieve Alex of night duties.  I'll encourage Iolani to give one last hug, kiss, and "I love you" before tagging Alex out.

We'll read a couple of books. No more than Olivia's the goal.  But, I'm a sucker for the "read X book Mommy" - so after 10 books I announce "Mommy's got to go to bed".

"I'm thirsty - can I have milk?"
"My teeth hurt - can I have Tylenol?"
"There's monsters in my room?"
"Can I have a cracker?"
"There's someone at the door, can I go answer it?"
"Can Mo (the bear) have a kiss?"
"I forgot something in the house?"
"Mommy, can I have ice cream?"
"I forgot something at school?"
"Mommy, I'm still hungry?"
"I forgot something in New Orleans?"
"I'm still dirty, I need to get back in the tub?"
"I forgot something..."

And - In my head, I'm thinking to myself - "Oh my God Iolani, please please please for the love of God and all the goodness in the earth, please get in your fucking bed and go the fuck to sleep"

I'd never say that to her.  I'm pretty sure I've said that to someone on the phone sometime in my life. I mean, I do have a bit of a mouth on me.

I give my last kiss, hug, proclamation that she's my favorite daughter, ask her if she loves me, and close the door.  I sit down on the couch, and within 30 minutes to an hour - I'm out, or I'm worthless to talk to.  And, with Alex being the night owl that he is - this is usually the time he wants to talk about whatever - money, things to do on the weekend, a marriage proposal, a reminder to get the car washed...all I'm thinking is...do I have to brush my teeth before I go to bed, or can I just rinse with mouthwash and call it a day.

So, for those prospective parents or parents with children who don't talk yet...enjoy it now.  Once your child starts talking brush up on those ball-busting negotiation skills.  You might have only one kid...however - I am absolutely convinced that Iolani spends her entire day at daycare staring out the window thinking of the witty comebacks as to why she shouldn't have to go to bed tonight.

3 comments:

MattLaw said...

I heard the author on NPR the other day. Funny shit. I can honestly say that parents often thing bad things and hope for the best when it is the end of the day. My 3 year old loves bath hates hairwashing and he needs to be "full to the tippy top" when getting tucked into bed. My 11 month old just wants milk blanket and shakey legs to get him to sleep. Yes 2 boys and I swear at the end of the day I feel insane worn out and beat down.

Matt L

Ginny-Marie said...

2 boys!? Matt, look at what has become of us. LOL. The twenty-something version of us must be laughing hysterically. :-)

MattLaw said...

The neice and nephew came over for the next couple days .. she is 12 and he is 10 ... I swear 4 kids will drive you insane .. well at least it drives me insane.