Sunday, May 1, 2011

one crazy hour (every night)

This blog serves partially as a record of our family life, an electronic journal if you will.  Because I type way faster than I can write with pen and paper.  I like that people enjoy reading it, and if more people want to start reading, that's super cool.

You will laugh, and you may cry at the antics I am about to recount.  I know I did a little of both.  I publish this, because many years from now, I may not remember these details and if someone else were to tell them to me, I may not believe it.  But here, published in my own words, I have to believe it.

The hour from 6:30pm to 7:30pm is the craziest, hairiest hour each day in our household.  I'm sure it's similar in many homes with young children.  Infants and young babies are often extra fussy in the evening and it's called the "witching hour."  I would propose that the "witching hour" continues to exist as children get older, just in different form.

We typically eat dinner around 5:30pm.  By 6:30 it is time to start getting kids ready for bed.  Bean typically cleans up after dinner while I start bathing children.  We like this set-up.  I would rather be with the kids and he loves cleaning the kitchen.

Sometimes I shower all three kids.  We have a removable shower head that I use for the little girls.  This is the most expedient method, but the little girls usually protest and fuss and sometimes I am just not up for that.

Before baths and showers tonight I trimmed everyone's finger and toenails.

Tonight, a joint bath sounded much easier.  I run the bath and undress Lily.  Gracie comes in and poops on the toilet, stinking up the small bathroom.  Gracie loves to lay down in the bath, putting her lady parts right in Lily's reach.  Which is starting to interest Lily.  I can't tell you how many times I tell Gracie to sit up.  And then she lays down again.  Gracie spent the first 10 minutes of tonight's bath with her ears underwater, singing her rendition of the chorus of "Firework" over and over again, quite loudly.

Miss Rose always protests getting in the shower.  It takes her way longer than necessary to undress.  Usually because she is cavorting around half dressed or naked--often in full view of our picture window in the living room.  This is rather awkward because she is a 7-year old trapped in a 10-year olds body.  Hear head almost reaches the top of my shoulder.  The kid is tall and very solid.  She's like this pre-teen running around, yet with a child's spirit.  Awkward is just the best way to describe it.

After demanding and sometimes yelling, she's finally in the shower.  Then I have to fetch the brush for her, because no matter what I do, Miss Rose's hair is terribly tangled by the end of the day and the best solution is to saturate it with conditioner and brush it while soaking in the shower.  And we still have to brush more tangles after she's out.

Miss Rose spends the last half of her shower singing made-up songs into the shower head.  She is never happy when I say it's time to get out.  I have to dry her hair enough that it's not dripping.  She tries to talk me into drying her whole body, but I usually make her do it on her own.

Back to the other bathroom where Gracie and Lily are playing and Gracie is saying "Lily's gonna bite my bottom"  Then for goodness sake SIT UP!  A quick scrub down and conditioning of hair.  (curly hair girls, we don't use shampoo usually)

Miss Rose is taking forever to dry off, and is singing again in our bathroom.  So I have to continually call to her to go get her jammies on.

Get the little girls dried off and they insist on being wrapped in their towels.  They love running to find Bean and talk about being naked and there is often mention of nipples.  Bean is usually done with the kitchen at this point and helps with the rest of the extravaganza.

Lily always runs away when it's time to get jammies on.  And lately she's been insisting on choosing her own.  She wants "pink" although I don't think she always knows what is actually pink.

Then it's time to brush out tangles.  Miss Rose thinks I'm torturing her on purpose.  I think she will get a significant haircut in May.  Her hair is long, so there is some to spare.  Gracie's hair doesn't tangle as much, but she still hates getting it brushed.

Miss Rose goes into the bathroom to brush her teeth and do her fluoride mouthwash.  When I check on her, she's making silly faces in the mirror.  She somehow gets toothpaste everywhere while brushing.  Lily tries to get in the bathroom, but this only distracts Miss Rose. I have to drag Lily out, while she tucks her legs up, and close the door.  Lily plants herself right in front of the door and screams at me.

Finally it's time for the little girls.  Gracie stands on the stool, Lily climbs on the toilet.  Both girls start out themselves, then I finish up.  Lily plays with the soap and mouthwash bottle on the counter, knocking them over.  I usually have to sing to get the girls to focus on the task at hand.  I go back and forth, telling them not to touch something, to focus, to not fall etc.  I floss Gracie's teeth, because they are close together and that's

I've been wanting to read more from our children's Bibles and so tonight I put my foot down that Mama was reading and everyone else was listening.  Miss Rose wanted to read "but Mom, you always say that it's important for me to read, so I don't know why you won't let me."  Gracie wanted to look at her own book.  And Lily had to be on my lap, and kept grabbing the Bible.

It was a comedic 8 minutes.  Gracie was sent to her room for moaning and whining and writhing on the couch.  Lily started being goofy and saying "poop" and "pee".  Miss Rose was laughing the entire time.  And then Bean started laughing.  Lily kept going to check on Gracie.  Finally Gracie returned.    I could only get five words out at a time before having to direct a child in something.  Bean thought it was all hilarious.  I told him I had no use for him.

Gracie flips through the children's Bible and comes upon an illustration of Naaman washing in the Jordan River.  She thinks he is naked and it's funny.  I tell her he has shorts on, they are just underwater. Then she starts talking about seeing his nipples.  Seriously.

Finally, bedtime.  We pray, we sing.  During which Gracie is singing her own song.  Miss Rose is trying to hold hands with all family members from the top bunk. She gets mad when Lily doesn't want to hold her hand, which is almost every night.  Lily insists on being held.  She's getting heavy these days.  I rest my foot on the bunkbed ladder so Lily is sitting on my leg instead of my hip.  Which Bean thinks is a great opportunity to tickle my leg, so I'm laughing while we are singing, and from the top bunk Miss Rose thinks she's missing something.  Sigh.

During this crazy hour, I hardly ever stop talking.  I'm always telling a child to do something, or stop doing something.

The kids finally in bed, we collapse on the couch.

And I wonder, 10 years from now, when they can do all of this on their own, what are we going to do with that hour?

It's crazy.  But I'm sure I'll miss it.

What are your nights like?

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