Night times have been varied in my home lately. They always start the same: snuggle time on the couch, teeth brushed, story read, story turned on, stars on, and kisses follow being tucked in tight. I also say the same words, "I love you! Now don't forget to stay in bed." If only this worked.
While trying to grade papers and catch up on DVRd shows, my ears begins to pick up a different script. Giggles and thumps....is that really what I'm hearing? As I glance up at the clock, my blood pressure begins to rise. I pause the show and quietly tip-toe upstairs. The door is closed but a sliver of light lines the frame of the door. Not only are they up, but they've turned on the light. Brazen? You bet! I swing open the door and put on my angry mom face. Yes, you know the one, the tear inducing eyes accompanied by the scrunched up nose and turned up lips.
"What are you two doing? Don't you realize that you both have to go to school tomorrow? You're going to be exhausted in the morning. Now GO TO BED!"
Bodies quickly move from one place to the next as they begin to snuggle back in. This is only the beginning of my night.
My body hasn't even made it back into the warm indent of the sofa when the pitter patter of feet begins. That can't be feet, it has to be the rain. I stay perfectly still as I give it another listen. You have GOT to be kidding me. I stomp, yes I am not being quiet any long, stomp my feet up the stairs to find my three-year old standing indignantly in the door way.
"Get your booty in bed!", I demand in the deepest tone I can muster.
"I NOT!", is the reply that is echoed back to me.
Yes, the blood in now boiling as I move my baby from the room he shares with is brother to the playroom (which has a toddler bed in it).
As soon as his body touches the mattress, he springs back up at me. My fair hair, fair skinned child is changing before my eyes. It's as if The Hulk is in my midst. Cheeks begin to turn red and his soft eyes are shooting daggers
"You stay here and go to sleep."
As I leave the room, the screaming begins. It varies from night to night. Tonight it's a chorus of "I WILL NOT!" and "MOM MAY!". It's not the mommy that whispers into my ears and makes the corners of my mouth rise. This "mommy" is harsh with an edge that makes your hair stand on end.
After he is worn out, I find my way back up the stairs. As I enter the room, the volume is cranked up but I can see that his swollen eyes are beginning to droop. This is my chance. As I wrap my arms around him, I begin to pull up the covers and explain how much I love him and that sleep is essential right now. The fight is over....sleep has won this time but the battle will be taken up another day.
As I get to the door, I hear a mouse of a squeak. What? "Mommy, I love you!" My icy heart quickly melts away as those 4 words remind me that this is just a blip on the radar of my life. These nights may seem to last forever but they are well worth the love that fills the rest of the day.