If your child is anything like mine, I think we can agree that the 20/30 minutes leading up to bedtime are easily the hardest of the day. Once dinner has been cleared, that’s when the real battle begins.
“Miles, please go to the bathroom and take off your clothes. It’s bath time.”
Miles proceeds to wedge himself behind the couch cushions because he’s suddenly extremely cold…so cold that it would be bordering on child abuse if I were to make him take his clothes off for a bath. Or at least that’s how he’s acting.
“Miles, I really need you to get into the bathroom now. There’s just a few minutes until bedtime.”
Suddenly reenergized, Miles run laps back and forth across the apartment, stopping in the bathroom to pee, but then quickly resuming his evening cardio routine.
“Miles, I don’t want to have to ask you again. Please get in the bathroom right now.”
He finally drags himself into the bathroom, only to squeeze behind the bathroom door for a round of hide and seek no one was playing.
“Miles, I really don’t want mean mom to come out.”
Mean mom is the motherhood equivalent of the Incredible Hulk; there’s a lot of yelling and clenching involved. It’s really not fun for anyone. As a result, Miles immediately scrambles to get out of his clothes and into the tub…which of course is SCALDING HOT. I am tasked with pouring exactly six pitchers of ice cold water into the bath to achieve Miles’ ideal bathwater temperature.
Once we finished the actual bathing part of the bath (which takes a total of about four minutes), it’s time for round two: teeth brushing.
“Miles, open your mouth and tilt your head back so I can see all your teeth.”
Miles opens his mouth all of half an inch, just barely enough to get the brush in.
“That’s it. We’re not reading a book tonight.”
Immediately, the eyes widen and begin to well up. How dare I take away reading time? I must not love him anymore. He HATES mean mom. Etc.
“Miles, please, let’s finish brushing your teeth so we can get you into bed.”
Silently, he complies with complete disdain in his eyes. He runs into his room and hides in the far corner under his bed (remind me why we got him a loft bed?).
“MILES, GET OUT HERE AND GET DRESSED RIGHT NOW.”
Mean mom has arrived and any shenanigans must immediately come to an end. The fact of the matter is that I love reading with him before bed as much as he does. One day I’m going to have to actually follow through on that threat, but for now?
I finally get him in his pajamas. He curls up in my lap, and I let him pick out a book for us to read together. I hold him for a few minutes before tucking him in and reminding him how much I love him.