For the umpteenth night in row, my evening went something like this…
Me: "Come on boys, bath-time, bed-time!”
Monkey: “No night night.”
Me: "Yes night night. It’s late.”
HD: “I’ll run the bath for them.”
Monkey:” No! Mama!”
Me:” Come on darling, Mummy’s tired. Go have some fun with Daddy.”
Monkey:” No. Mama bath.”
Me: (with, oh zero enthusiasm in my voice) "Alright then."
HD is resigned to standing on the sidelines, crossing his fingers he’ll be brought on for the second half, while both boys splash more water over me than the tiles.
HD: "Time to get out. Who wants to get cosy in their towel with me?”
Cheeky and Monkey: (in unison) “No! Mama/Mummy.”
Mummy sneaks off, pretending she needs a wee, just to escape their jaws of love for five whole minutes. (Must add earplugs to the shopping list; I can hear their cries for me through the walls.)
Me: “Here I am. Jammies on. Pick a story for Daddy to read.”
Monkey: “No! Mama book.”
HD: ”I’ll read. Mummy will stay though.”
(Thanks darling. My eye is on the clock. It’s now nearer eight-thirty than eight and all the good TV starts at nine.)
Monkey: “No. Mama book! Mama book! MAMA BOOK!”
Me: “Oh pass me the blinking book then!”
HD sneaks off in search of a warmer reception from the football (soccer) news on the internet.
After we’ve done Noddy’s Super Busy Day, The Curious Little Dolphin, and Harry and the Dinosaurs Make a Splash, cosied up under Monkey’s covers, we begin the hell that has become getting him to stay in his bed.
Kisses and cuddles are dispensed to Cheeky and he trots off up his wooden hill to the top bunk. Monkey makes a dash for the ladder, grabbing as many trains and small diggers as his two-year-old hands can fit.
Me: ”Oh nooooo, this is your bed.”
Monkey: “No. Up! Up!”
Cheeky: ”No! Your bed is down there. This bed is for bigger boys. You can’t come up here!
Me: “Yes. Come back down here.”
I bang my bloody head on the bloody bed for the billionth time this week, as I scramble off lower bunk to retrieve escaping Monkey.
Monkey: “Noooo! Humph.” (He’s got that toddler folding of arms and pouting bottom lip thing off-pat.)
HD reappears as back-up. Ha ha.
HD: ”Come on. Night-night time. Let’s get tucked in.”
Monkey: “No! Mama.”
Here we go again…
HD: “Mummy will stay, but only if you get back in your bed.”
(Thanks again darling.)
Monkey: (now smiling) ”Mama!”
Me: “Come on then. Snuggles.” And we get under the covers together again.
I will skip the next 45 minutes of conversation. Suffice to say, it involved mass over-use of the words ‘Mama,’ ‘bus,’ ‘whooow’ and ‘raaah’ as Monkey rallied against going to sleep with a repetitive on and off the bed re-enactment of plastic school-bus crashing into plastic passengers and tumbling over plastic Stegosaurus.
At 10 O’clock (!) as I was contemplating tying him down and gaffer-taping his gob, Cheeky piped up: ”Be quiet. You are both too noisy!”
I’d barely said a word, but apparently, my under-the-covers shussshh-ing was enough to offend and have me down as co-disturber of bedtime peace.
As Monkey’s eyelids finally started to look a little heavy and his plastic passengers bruised, I tried to creep out. But with one shuffle of the duvet, he sat bolt upright and said,“No Mama!”
Oh the price we pay for popularity eh?
Twenty minute later (at practically 10-frigging-30 PM) he is finally asleep deep enough (and still in his bed) that I can escape his locks of love. But, yet again, bang went my evening. So, all tips for getting little ones to go to bed without Mama, will be gratefully received. I am desperate to reclaim nights as my own…