Bedtime: When Everyone Cries and Nobody Wins

Bedtime is absolute craziness at our house.  The preparation required for 3 kids to get to bed is intense.  There are baths to take, teeth to brush, diapers to change, jammies to put on and books to read.  After everyone has been washed, brushed, clothes and tucked into bed without fail one loses their mind.

It starts the same way everytime. 

“One more hug Mommy.”

“Me too Mommy.”

“Now I want to give you a kiss.”

Now I’m going to kick my covers off as you watch me and then ask you to cover me up again. 

Now I’m going to drop my sippy cup amd pretend that I don’t have use of my limbs to pick it up myself.

Now I’m dissatisfied with my book selection. 

Now I remembered I left my other blankie downstairs, you know, the one I have never slept with before.

Repeat.  Times 3 Crazies.

This master manipulation added to my exhaustion is an explosive combination.  It usually ends with me giving in to the first 10 demands and then losing my mind after number 11.  Then there is crying, mine and theirs and then we hug 3 more times and go to sleep. 

I think I would be more assertive if they were only requesting items but it’s just so hard to say no to a hug.  I know one day the tables will turn and I’ll be begging for hugs from them.  Tonight I hugged 3 times each, tucked twice and told them I loved them and they were on their own.  25 minutes of absolute mayhem and they are quietish.

There has to be a balance right?  I want them to be reassured that they are safe and loved before they go to sleep but I also don’t want to teach them that they can manipulate me with their fit throwing.  As I sit in my now quietish house I can’t help but think they will bring this up to their therapist one day.

“Why do you think you feel that way Christopher?”

“Probably because Mom amd Dad didn’t hug us enough before we went bed.”

Ugh!  This parenting stuff is intense.  What’s bedtime like at your house?