Monday, November 25, 2013

A Sweet Bedtime Story

When I was at my mom and dad's this weekend I decided to look through some of my old childhood books to see if there were any the kids would like to read.  I laughed as I reminisced through the stages of my life according to each series of books I thumbed through.

Boxcar children
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Babysitter's Club
Ramona the Brave series
Milk Carton Kids
Where the Red Fern Grows (still my favorite)
Charlotte's Web
Road to Avonlea
Saddle Club Series
Frank Peretti Series
Left Behind Series
John Grisham
Lots of various horse books
Weightlifting, athletics, sport psychology books
How to be a better pitcher

I loved reading as a kid! Still do, when I get the time.  So I decided that I would pick a short series and read a little to the kids each night. Heck! I'd seen other mom's post pics of their kids dreamily sleeping before even finishing the story.  I had heard of moms discussing how their kids love being read to at night, and how it relaxes them.  Our family could use some more sleeping at night and some more relaxing, so why not??

So at 8 pm sharp last night I told the kids we were going to brush our teeth, go potty, and head up to Autum's room to read a chapter from Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.  They could even bring their sleeping bags and pillows.  Autum graciously offered her room as a hosting place.  So I carried Autum up to her room, kicking and screaming that she wasn't sleepy, hated her toothbrush and wanted to wrestle with daddy more...I threw her in her bed to which she rolled up and fell out of, hitting her head on her soft book box--that you would have thought was made of sharp steel- by the sound of her scream upon brushing it with her head.  This immediately turned into a full on 3-year old tantrum of destruction.  Throwing pillows, unloading her dresser drawers--all with a crazed look in her eye.  I just left her to be, knowing that it is better to let her diffuse herself.  I head out the door and am met at the top of the stairs by Leah...who is sprawled out across the stairs, face planted in the carpet, crying.  She has one arm reaching down to grip her large flip-flop quilt she sleeps under at night, barely grasping the corner.  I ask her what is wrong-only to be met with louder moaning and drama.  So I just try to bypass her and find Blake-surely he will cooperate.  But Leah then realizes I'm choosing to ignore her and she says, "Mooooom!  I can't do it....waaaahhhh!"

I say, "you can't do what?"
"Whahhhh! I just can't..."
Getting irritated I yell, "DO WHAT, LEAH?"

Carry my blanket's too heavy....waaaahh!"
"Well, fold it up and then carry it upstairs, it will make it a lot lighter!"
And of course, because I know nothing, she responds with, "No it won't! It's too heavy!'

By this point, my thoughts of a quiet peaceful storytime are beginning to dissolve into daydreams.
I finally pick up the end of her quilt and throw it over her head to which Leah crawls it to her room.  Then begins complaining she can't put it on her bed right.  I cut the crap and just do it for her.  Hoping to still attempt a story.

She makes her way into Autum's room--Autum is standing up on her bed now--slowly tearing the wallpaper off her wall (which needs to be done anyway, but not now) and looking at me out of the corner of her eye.  I tell her to lie down so we can read...she jumps and plops down on her diaper-covered bum and says, "NO! I read!"

I, not thinking, begin to argue with her..."No, mommy reads.  She wants to read to you tonight, you can read tomorrow."
"No, I read!" And grabs the books out of her box and hides them under her covers.

Leah is lying down on the floor in Autum's sleeping bag (to which Autum hasn't noticed yet) moaning and groaning about wanting to read because she is oldest and that she is the teacher...and on and on.

I tell Autum she better lay down or I will have to spank her, because she is not doing what I ask.  She sits there and stares me down with her evil stink eye before slowly mouthing, "noooo." (in a barely audible whisper) 

I take Mrs. Piggle Wiggle softback version and swat her on the butt with it.  Then force her to lie down and cover her up with the blankets.  I yell, "WE ARE GOING TO READ THIS BOOK, AND YOU WILL LISTEN, AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!"

As I'm doing this I step on Leah's hair and send her into scream fest 2000...and while consoling her, Autum realizes that Leah is in her sleeping bag.  She throws her covers back and pops out of her bed like its on fire and jumps on Leah's head.  She attempts to pull Leah out of it and Leah's crying turns to laughing which sends Autum into more of a crazy anger fit.  I finally get Leah out of the sleeping bag and onto another blanket and pillow.  Autum then chooses to lie on the floor too.  I avoid that battle and just let her be.  She lies down for a quick second and I begin to read because its the only moment of silence we've had since I began this attempt at reading. 

I begin reading the first few words...and Autum begins to kick her legs up and down, up and down...and that doesn't get a reaction so she begins to kick Leah...up and down, up and down.  Of course, Leah, with no filter, yells, "stop it Autum, you stupid baby!" 

Autum screams, "I'm not a baby!  No Leah, I no baby! Blake a baby!"
Leah, "you are too a baby! You still have a pacifier...ha.ha.ha.ha!"

I first attempt to read over the yelling and just keep pushing through--gosh darnit! Other families do this, so can we!

Then I can't take it any longer.  I yell, "that's it! No books! Time for bed!"
I pick up Autum put her back in her bed, wrap her up tight with her blankets and shove her pacifier back in her mouth-hoping to contain her a few minutes while  I zip Leah up in Autum's sleeping bag, and drag her to her room, with her arms flailing out the end.  I pick the whole entire sleeping bag up and toss it on her bed...shut her light off and stomp out of her room.  Just as I'm closing her door I hear her giggling and asking, "can you do that again? That was fun!"  I snort and shut the door.

I head back to Autum's room to calm her down to sleep only to be blinded by a strobe light flashlight she is holding that I have no idea where she found.  She refuses to hand it over, so I jump into the bed and after a quick wrestling match, I get it back.

I shut her light off, leave her room (knowing I'll be back in about 2 seconds) hear her say, "Goodnight Poopy Mommy!"


So there is my version of a perfectly peaceful night of reading with my kids.  Remind me that we are not your typical family and we probably will never do typical family things.

PS-I get to the bottom of the stairs to see Blake and Jerad sleeping all cuddled up peacefully in the rocking chair.  Meanwhile I am anything but relaxed and peaceful.  Feeling like I just finished a workout : sweating, frazzled, and angry.  And in need of some wine.
Autum's first haircut

Post-5K goodies and warmth
Happy Birthday Mimi!

This is what Leah won! ahha!

Autum was having fun with the glasses too

Eating ice cream at Mimi's house for her birthday!

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