Last night I tuck Lil and Grady into their bunk beds. We read books, sing songs, have tickle tortures, airplane rides, and I hug and kiss each one. We recite our prayer, "Dear God, thank you for the wonderful day that we had, help us to have another one tomorrow. God bless mommy, daddy, Lillian, Grady, Dempsey, Finn, all my grandparents, all my friends and relatives, and please help my mommy and daddy to cope with me." I say "Don't let the bed bugs bite." And Lil's nightly response is "But if they do, hit them with a shoe!" Nightlight on, lights off. Who doesn't love bedtime? It's right up there with naptime. Then the children are supposed to sleep soundly and sweetly and the parents snuggle and cuddle by the fireplace, drinking heavily spiked egg nog, discussing their day right? That must be the neighbors. Jerks.
Two minutes later, "Moooom, Grady pooooped!" Lillian sings to me. Must stop singing songs at bedtime. Will teach her how to hold her nose tomorrow. I run upstairs, change Grady, and plop him back in bed. Soon after, I hear noises. I'm back up the stairs to find Grady wacking away at the tea party with a blow up bat. Should have deflated bat yesterday. Go back downstairs. More sounds. Back upstairs. Grady is pulling a plank of wood off the bunk bed and dragging it out the door. Must get wood glue. Back downstairs. I hear galloping. Back upstairs. Grady is galavanting down the hallway on his stick horse. Take horse into our room. Back downstairs. Stuff is falling. Back upstairs. Grady is on the floor reading a book. Grady... reading is bad...get back into bed. Lillian announces that all of our talking is bothering her when she is trying to sleep. Such an angel. She probably has a secret stash of pops in her bed and doesn't want me up there long enough to discover it. Back downstairs. Furniture is moving. Back upstairs. Grady has dragged over his miniature chair to Dempsey's bedroom door, he needs an accomplice. Back downstairs, with chair in tow. Their bedroom light is shining bright. Back upstairs. Remove all lightbulbs, five if you're counting, from the room. Lillian lets out an exaggerated yawn, "Mom is that you?" Oh what a dear. She's probably personally directing this whole debacle and allowing Grady to take all the credit. What else are big sister's for? Minutes later Grady is in the kitchen digging for flashlights. I haul him back up the steps. I pull out the big guns. I am locking this door! Go to bed now!
When we moved into our house, over two years ago, we transitioned Lil from her crib to a bed. She pulled the same stunts as Grady. Must be in the genes. I blame Sean. I reversed the knob on her door so it would lock from the outside. Not my finest parenting moment, I know. I kept a stash of bobby pins in her room for the times she locked me in. (Disclaimer... I always unlock the door...eventually. Please do not report me to the Department of Social Services. I worked for them before, they already know me. And if you do, I will come to your house, steal all your bobby pins, and lock you in your bedroom.) One day she was supposed to be taking a nap. Instead she was banging down the door with her feet, shouting, "You home mom...you home?"
My mommy guilt is setting in...I have locked my children in their bedroom. This is horrible. I must do better tomorrow. There has got to be a better way. Some people dream of beaches and far away lands. I dream of this... I gather up all the bobby pins in our bedroom and throw them in the kitchen trash can. I dash to the basement, grab the screwdriver, and head back upstairs to our room. I reverse the knob, push the button, pull the door closed...and lock myself in.