It was date night for my employers last night, which meant that I was on “after hours babysitting” duty.
My normal nanny routine has me going home at 8:30 at night. But date nights are different. I’m usually there until 11 or later.
Last night was going super great until bedtime. What is it with children that bedtime is like a prison sentence? I say “ok 15 more minutes before bed” and it’s like I just told them that I’m killing all the animals in the house and that I’m going to chop off their arms and legs next for no reason – all while laughing like a Disney villain.
4th and I made the great choice to watch a movie before bed. It ended around 8:30 which is perfect timing to head up and get tucked in on time. She also can’t tell time very well, so if I could convince her to get into bed 30 minutes before the mother declared bedtime, then I was going to take that chance! And 3rd would see his younger sister in bed before him, making his transition easier. Win-win-win-win.
The movie ended and I literally carried 4th up four flights of stairs, completely winded by the time we got to her bedroom, but she went down no problems. Tucked her in, gave her a stuffie, a kiss on the head, said “I love you” and closed the door. I gave the others their 30-minute warning before bed “If you need to shower or eat do it now!”
Then, 4th comes out of her room after about 15 minutes crying so hard! She had an eyelash in her eye. Of course, I feel for the girl, but it’s not that bad. Thankfully 2nd, being the caring older sister that she is, got 4th to stop crying just long enough to stick her finger in 4th’s eye and get the lash out. 1st was holding 4th’s hand the whole time. Sisters are so amazing sometimes.
I had allowed 1st/2nd to finish their Grey’s Anatomy episode, and 3rd to eat some dinner and watch one 20 minute something – pushing all their bedtimes to about 9:15. No biggie. By 9:40 no one was in bed! I finally was able to get them scattered and where they needed to be. Silly me, I thought that would be the end of it (it usually is actually. They are pretty good kids).
Then I heard it – the giggles coming from the parents’ bedroom. I opened the door to see all three of them sitting there watching TV. I just walked up to the TV, turned it off, pointed to the door and said “BED!” Apparently, my voice hit that tone that only teachers and parents can hit because 2nd didn’t even question it. 1st almost turned the TV back on but she put the remote down and walked out defiantly, muttering under her breath. Then of course 2nd and 3rd needed showers and OMG like seriously?!
It’s moments like these that make me never want to have children.
I stayed in the hall on my phone until they finally got settled (Thanks HM for keeping me company and helping me stay sane!), and then went back to my project that I was trying to get done for the mom.
Then (there are a lot of then’s in this post aren’t there? haha) I heard a door open. I walked halfway up the stairs to see who was out of bed and what they were doing.
There stood 2nd – looking half dazed and half like she was going to cry. She couldn’t sleep. She wasn’t tired and couldn’t stop thinking about “bad things”. I offered a hug, which she reluctantly accepted (I had just used that tone about 30 minutes prior) but she literally clung onto my waist/sweater like her world was ending. Drawing little circles on her back, we stood in the hall until her hands let go of my sweater and dropped to her sides. I offered to pray with her (they are a very strict Catholic family, and being Baptist myself, it’s a natural reaction), and we stood in the hallway while I prayed for calming of mind and spirit and for good thoughts and a restful sleep. Her breathing deepened, her body starting to slump against me so she got the same treatment as her sister the first time I put her in her bed – a kiss on the head, a soft “I love you, sleep well” and a little push back into her room.
And it’s moments like these that make me want to have kids.