It’s 8:30pm which means it’s super late. Super late. Like I should’ve been in bed an hour ago late. I mean it’s dark by 4:30pm so bedtime can’t be much later than 7:30, right? Please tell me I’m right. So why are all of my kids still up?
I was talking to a friend last week. This friend is still deep in the trenches of littles. She has a two year old, four year old and six year old. Bedtimes are still a very big deal in her house. The whole snack time, bath time, book time, bed time thing. I loved that routine until I didn’t love that routine anymore. I told her that soon…so very very very soon…the kids will go to bed after you do. In fact they will bathe themselves, then get their own snacks, put their own clothes in the hamper(if you are lucky), read their own books(any books they want…in fact big books that you don’t even understand), and then they will just turn off the lights when they are ready to close their eyes. Sometimes you mumble to them before you head off to bed, “Turn off the lights before you fall asleep, okay?” That’s the new goodnight routine. Even our six year old now showers herself, gets her own snack, and reads her own stories. But she does get an extra snuggle, a proper tucking in, and has to go to bed before us. Mostly.
And soon, I know, I’ll be in bed before the kids get home. They’ll be out and I’ll be worried and sleeping with one eye open, listening for the door to open and close.
Just like it might be hard for her to imagine a life without a bedtime routine, it’s hard for me to imagine a life without the kids at home most nights. But it doesn’t matter if I can imagine it or not, it will still happen and I am always amazed by the relative ease of parenting transitions as fighting them is futile. Just like I can’t believe my once small child is taller than me. Or better at math. Or borrows my shoes.
But I have to go because it’s late. It’s 8:30 and everyone is still up and I know I need to the get the youngest to bed so I can get to bed. Or maybe I’ll just have her sisters give her that extra snuggle so I can go shut my eyes to be ready for tomorrow and the new changes it could bring.