The other night I put up a photo of me, post kids in bed, skulling a G&T with sheer abandon. It was 6.28pm and the time was not missed by many a person on Facebook who asked how on EARTH my kids were in bed. There were some questions asked, and being the giver that I am, here are some answers. Note that this works for MY kids and OUR family. Note that it does not happen every night. And note that every fucking single night (except say 3) in the past almost 6 years, I have been woken to my children. They are light sleepers. They are bad sleepers. They may be in bed early, but dear GOD they do not stay there until the morning. Note that my kids are 6 and 3 (so little). Also note that I am aware that this is a golden precious time. I know that some day they will be awake till much later, so I am relishing every minute I have to myself at 6.45pm at night. OK? OK!
I have been blessed with early risers. 6am or before is the time they wake. They don’t sleep in, no matter how late they go to bed. Never have. Never will. Last New years eve it was 11.30PM(!) before they both went to bed, and yet 6am? Bang! It’s cruel, it’s made the first words out of my mouth on many a day a swear word, but it’s what we’ve got, and so we work with it. Given the early rise and then the subsequent full steam ahead throughout the day, I have to ensure that the girls get about 11 or 12 hours sleep at night. This means 6pm bed time. No exceptions during the week – Saturday nights can be different and holidays too of course. A 6pm bed time means that I have to get all that stuff done before that. Dinner? 4.30pm sometimes. Usually it’s the whole family at 5pm. We are VERY lucky to have Rob and I both working from home so we can all be together for a family meal. Dinner is done and dusted by 5.30pm. Rob does the bath while I clean up (I am a clean freak who likes it done just so, so that’s why I’m in there). Dinner can be cleaned up with mood lighting on in the kitchen by 5.45pm, yes, 5.45pm. By the time bath is done we head into QP time. I’ve written before about this before here. That can go for up to 30 mins so we head to do teeth and all the shenanigans that go with that at 6.15pm. It’s then into bed, endless requests for water, or complaints of sore eyebrows, or just kids generally loosing their shit because they exhausted.
And then sleep.
On a good night, when the girls are good and properly exhausted sleep comes in a few minutes. On a day where Harps has snuck in a sleep on the couch it can take up to 2 hours. There are fights, there are threats, and more often that not 2-3 hours later we are awoken by a sleep terror, a bad dream, a need for the bathroom, a cough vomit. Something. Anything.
But. There are some nights, when the kids are asleep at 6.35pm, I go into the clean kitchen, pour myself a large glass of something, and head out onto the verandah for a natter with my husband while the sun goes down, and life seems very good indeed. Because it is.
So. How about you? Are you crackers like me? Or are your kids up later?