Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Kids in bed by 7? Dream ON!

PC asked me a riveting question the other night: How (the hell) do people get their kids in bed by 7pm?

And we both looked at each other and responded at the same time: I. have. no. clue.

Seriously... no freaking clue how people have their kids fed, bathed, teeth brushed, stories read, and lights out by 7pm. I know there are a TON of families that do it - but we are not one of them, and frankly, we never will be.

The earliest we are all in the door throughout the week is probably 5:15, but its more like 5:30, 5:40. If dinner is planned ahead, its probably ready and on the table by 6:15ish, but if its not, then we are looking at 6:30 to 6:45 most nights.  We often finish eating when Wheel of Fortune is on, which airs every night at 7, so what does that tell you. We eat late... we always have, and we probably always will - that's how we roll.

If you are keeping track, its now after 7 and we are still at the dinner table in our house... then if its bath night, that takes us anywhere from 7:30 to 8, then we have to get pjs on, teeth brushed, and coax a 2 y/o onto his bed (which really isn't that hard unless he's full of energy from supper).  Now we are talking 8:20 to 8:30ish, and then its story time. By the time we read a couple of books... its closer to 9pm before we call it lights out for the night. And that's only if I'm in drill sargent mode, with my bull-horn on repeat.

I don't really know what I would do if there was some law that stated kids must be in by 7pm... I don't think we could do it, unless we went without supper or a bath which are not options. We also try to fit some quality time in there too, which happens more so on the non-bath nights, but regardless, a 7 pm bedtime would be more than a real challenge, it is down right impossible here.

In a couple of months when we get H on the same type schedule we'll have two boys to run through the paces - so then the question will become: How (the hell) do you get two kids in bed by 7 pm?  And I know the answer will remain a mystery here.

There are two key factors when it comes to solving this mystery... there's PC and I, and then the boys.

I have to admit, and it probably comes as no surprise to those who know us well, but PC and I are slow movers. Even when we are rushing, we are slow moving... and I kinda fear we are going to pass this trait on to the boys whether we consciously know it or not. Even now, E (like any 2 y/o) takes his sweet time when getting ready to go anywhere... and we let him, because even when we say 'ready to go?' we really mean 'ready to go in another 5 minutes'.

The good news is that the boys (who knows what H will be like, but E for right now) is fairly even tempered and easy to get along with, even at the end of the day. Even when he's exhausted, he can still be quite an enjoyable little boy, and this is truly a plus, but its also part of the reason I think its closer to 9pm every night before E is fast asleep - because he's not kicking up a royal fuss. Most nights, when we actually turn the lights out, he goes to bed with a goodnight kiss and hug and that's the last we hear from him until the next morning at 7:30 or 8 am - and that is perfectly fine with me.

I know there is no parenting rule that says kids must be in bed by 7, but I do know there are people that pass the 'wow, those kids are up late' type judgment on others, but I really think, you do what works best for you, and right now, the 8:30-9 pm bedtime is working for us, and until we have school-aged children and early school mornings to contend with, this is how its gonna be!

Do you find it hard to get your kids in bed at a decent hour or is an early bedtime just come naturally to your household?

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