A beta version of me

Lori Mabardi Connor

Friday, August 01, 2014

This week, my kids have been going to bed later and later each night… The impediments of summer, but also part of what makes summer a little magical… But every night, they've been pushing the envelope with the constant flow of procrastination tactics! I mean, if pushing off bedtime was a national sport, college would be paid for!  “I’m hungry, I want milk, I’m not tired, I want to play, I have to go potty, I need my mimi (blanket), where’s Stillwater (stuffed panda), I neeeeeed Stillwater, is that thunder?, I’m scared, can we read a book?, can I watch Dinosaur Train?, I don’t want to brush my teeth just yet, can I finish this puzzle?”.

And at first I can take it. I’m ready, I’m patient,  I’m smiling. I’m “pre-9PM” Mom.
Pre-9PM Mom explains that their brains grow in the middle of the night, their muscles form and they get stronger, smarter and healthier in their sleep, and that sleeping will keep them happy and healthy. Pre-9PM Mom explains that they get to see friends in dreamland, and can reminisce about their day, can imagine flying in the sky or being at the beach. Pre-9PM Mom tells stories, sings songs, and asks them what kind of burrito they are as they lay wrapped all snuggly in their blanket and pretends to take a big bite out of them when they declare they are a cheese burrito.

But at 9pm, something happens… It’s like Cinderella’s stroke of midnight, or like dusk in a vampire movie...
Post-9PM Mom shows up… The stress of the next day starts to set in, the to-do lists start to run through her mind… Post-9PM Mom's voice drops an octave and her eyes turn serious. Post-9PM Mom means business!  

Post-9PM Mom NEEDS to come out if these kids are EVER to get to sleep…  

Or does she?
I'm working on an 8PM version of myself...  Surely I can wrap things up before the strike of 9… Surely I can put them to bed before I lose the incredible intellect and concentration it takes to outsmart a 4 year old.  

But knowing I will go to work before they wake up, and knowing I won't see them until dinner the next night, I too want the extra book, the extra song and the extra burrito snuggle.  

Maybe the 8PM version of me (she is still in beta) should be focused on disciplining ME instead of them...