(Be warned. This topic is something that I’ll be talking about for a while.)
My standards are clearly slipping. Once a strict enforcer of bedtime and bedtime rules, my evening now looks like this:
I put all three girls to bed. In the same room. (Yes, it looks something like a Romanian orphanage, but we’re short on space at the moment and there really is a sweetness about the close quarters.) I walk into the kitchen, congratulating myself on how easy it all was (I only had to bribe Francie with a box of tic tacs, see what I mean?). And then Fiona walks out.
“I’m hungry.” Gone are the times when I’d forbid food post-toothbrush-eating. At this point I’ll give her laffy taffy if it means some peace and quiet. But we have none around, so I throw a half a banana at her. She goes back to bed.
Minutes later she reappears. “I can’t poo because I can’t pull down my pull-up with this stinky banana in my hand.” Fair enough. I take her to the bathroom. She insists I sit with her. Talk about a watched pot. Why is it that it’s near-impossible for her to hold it in when we’re in the car, but if I’m sitting across from her it can take 30 minutes for her to squeeze anything out?” Eventually we go back to bed. I have 30 seconds of peace until Francie walks out:
“Red or yellow tic tacs?” I’m clearly not yelling enough.
The boys are meant to be upstairs reading to themselves before I go up and read a couple of chapters to them (we’re currently reading the marvelous Overlander series by that woman who wrote the Hunger Games. I’m sure she has a name, or at least I hope she does, but knowledge of authors’ names is one of things I had to give up to make space in my brain for the names of Pokemon characters.) They’re meant to be reading but I can hear “Moves Like Jagger” blaring at full volume and the sounds of little boys throwing themselves off a top bunk. Sadly, I retired the Voldemort voice when Sidney was born (it saddens me to know she’ll never know the sound of my vocal chords peeling paint), and I’ve clearly jumped some sort of parenting shark, because I just don’t care.
In related news (slipping standards), B got off the bus yesterday, slipped some dollar bills into my purse and said: “Don’t ask. Just put it straight into my bank account.” And you know what? I don’t ask. I can’t ask. I know way too much already, and it only gives me gray hairs and breakouts. I’d rather not know if he’s selling crappy pens again, gambling, or on top of some enormous school-wide ponzi scheme. I’ll read about it in the paper.