Tucking your kids in, reading to them from favorite books, singing the same songs that your mom sang to you, exchanging kisses and hugs and then turning off the light and then relaxing peacefully on the couch as wonderful thoughts of gratitude for your angelic children meander through your head.
HA HA HA!!!
Lets get real for a moment, bedtime at our house is not even close to this. Our usual bedtime routine is as follows. The moment either Chad or I announce that bedtime is at hand, and eruption of whining, complaining and immediate hunger ensues. I am not sure what part of "it is time for bed" makes small boys instantly starving, but at our house like clockwork this is what happens. So after a bartering of sorts in the kitchen, ( I am not going to cook you a quesadilla or make Mac & Cheese for a bedtime snack) we are off to the bathroom for teeth brushing.
Teeth brushing is not a difficult task for our family, the kids love it. The thing they dread is fluoride. My boys act as though I am asking them to jump through a flaming hoop when I tell them they need to swish the bubblegum flavored liquid in their mouths one minute.
Then it is story time. We have hundreds of children's books in our house and it always baffles me that our kids tend to pick the same few books. Which is fine because some of them have been read so many times I can recite them from memory. I actually love reading to the kids. It seems most nights we are reading something by Mo Willems or Dr. Suess and laughing the entire time.
This next part of bedtime is more a challenge than anything. When we have the kids all settled into their beds and tucked in, I turn off the lights and sing one song to each of the boys. I love singing to my kids, the challenge comes from what I have to sing to appease them. I would been fine with any number of Primary songs etc. But my kids want me to make up songs about Star Wars, Indiana Jones and BYU. I regularly rap to Wheels on the Bus, and one time I even sang the ABC's backward.
Que the least favorite ingredient of our bedtime recipe. Chad and I sitting on the couch as we hear the kids yell into us, "I need a drink," "Mom, Milo won't stop talking," "What are you watching?" "Can Milo and I sleep in the same bed?" " I need my other blanket" And one or both of us responding with "go to bed," "stop talking and go to bed," "don't make me come in there, go to bed!"
Finally sitting on the couch at the end of the nightly ordeal hearing nothing but silence, does make me grateful. Grateful for one more day to do it all again, and because I know that some years from now I am going to wish I could sing my made up song about Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. It is a crazy chaos our life, but how lucky I am to be a part of it. And honestly how boring would life be if our kids were angels all the time.