It’s 8:30 pm, and all I can think about is how much I want to bury myself in blankets and read Kavalier and Clay. I do not want to write. But writing is a better option than trying to put my children to bed. I am putting off telling them that in ten minutes, they need to cozy up in their own beds, read their own books, and go to sleep. Because, of course, it will not happen that way. Instead, it will go something like this:
Me: Kids, it’s time to cozy up and settle down. You can read one book and then lights out.
Henry: Kick and cry
Me: If you don’t stop crying, you can’t read a book.
Henry: Laugh, cry, kick.
Me: Ok that’s it, I’m turning off the lights and you’re going to sleep.
August: Yell, cry, and: you’re the meanest mother ever.
Henry: I want to play the Kindle.
Me: You guys, seriously, you need to go to sleep.
August: I’m not tired, what am I supposed to do.
Me: I don’t care what you do. As long as the lights are off and you are in your bed. Stare at the ceiling. Count sheep. Talk to your imaginary friend. Go to sleep.
Me: Yeah, I caught that. And you’re right. I am so mean that I am making you get a full night’s rest. Sign me up for dictatorship.
Henry: I’m hungry.
August: Come on, Henry, let’s play.
One hour later, the kids will be in August’s bed. Maybe snuggling, maybe pinching each other. Either way, they will take at least two more bathroom trips and ask for four more glasses of water. I will longingly stare at the decanter of scotch.
Maybe by 10 o’clock I can start reading. Right now, I have to get these kids to bed.
*The time is now 9:42. Songs have been sung, snuggles have been had, and they are still awake. One is yelling from the hallway, cracking jokes. The other is in bed, asking for more hugs. We are one day in to winter break. God save me.