Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Battle for Bedtime - Take Two

Since we’ve moved, the twins have decided that bedtime is not a strict law, but a set of basic guidelines, published to world more for naïve parents than for small children. Every night we put them in their beds, read them a couple stories, maybe sing some songs, and then turn out the lights. They, depending on the night, then proceed to get out of bed to (1) pee (2) poop (3) listen to the television at the top of the stairs (4) do an as yet unnamed toddler ritual. Noah and Aidan actually flipped one of their multi-colored toy bins over to boost them up to the level of their light switches the other night.

Yes, we’re at it again. The battle for bedtime. Take Two.

The combination of two minds makes for an increasingly interesting nighttime experience. However, nothing beats a two year old screaming at the top of his lungs, “I WANT TO PEE,” and then kicking and screaming his way through the doors of dreamland. Oh yeah, the whiskey would taste really good right about now.

I’ve taken to standing outside their bedroom door, waiting as an omniscient father should to ambush the little buggers as soon as the door handle turns. Depending on the night and the number of little devils perched on their shoulders, they either turn around instantly and run back to the perceived safety of their blankets, laughing all the way, or they stand there staring at me, innocent faces wondering what they could have possibly done wrong.

Per parental agreement, Leah and I try our utmost not to speak a word when we enter this enemy territory. We scoop them up and place them back under their covers, silently walking away and closing their door. Again. And again. And again.

Last night the boys went to bed late. We ate dinner late. We had a late dessert. Unmatched pajamas were donned late. Teeth were not brushed late. I hoped against hope that just maybe this night would see the twins fall asleep like angels.

I stood quietly outside their closed door, my ear tilted toward the room listening for the slightest peep. Nothing. Nothing at all. Just the sound of two boys getting comfortable in their beds. The sweet sound of silence enveloped me, calming my senses and forcing me to reevaluate how we’ve been handling bedtime since our arrival in Mystic.

As I was reaching the conclusion that Leah and I needed to overhaul our parenting practices, out of the stillness a little voice boomed, “UNDERPANTS!”