The townhouse we have lived in for the past three years has four bedrooms. One is on the bottom floor and is used as J's office since he works from home. The other three are on the third floor. Ashe and Soren share a room together. Most nights getting them to bed is simple. Soren goes up an hour earlier, and by the time Ashe heads to bed, his little brother is passed out to the world. But on nights where the bed time gets wonky, we sometimes deal with repercussions of two boys sharing a room.
Tonight is one of those nights.
This evening we had a meet the teacher event at Xavier's school. The whole family went, thinking it would be one of those events where you wait to say hello to the teachers then take off. We got there early with the mindset of getting home in time for bedtimes. Oops. Instead, it was a walk through of my oldest sons class schedule, and we sat down for presentations of each class. Half way through, the younger boys were bored out of their minds, so J took them out for ice cream while he waited for Xavier and I to finish.
We didn't get home until eight, way past Soren's regular bedtime, and close to Ashe's. I gave them a few minutes to unwind, then we did our bedtime routine. As I kissed them goodnight I admonished them to behave and go to sleep...no playing!
"Yes, Mommy", they replied.
I headed downstairs, grabbed my laptop and started catching up on email.
(giggle giggle *thump thump* giggle)
I roll my eyes and raise my voice to be heard on the third floor. "BOYS! GET TO BED!"
(*thump thump* giggle giggle)
(*thump thump CRASH* little whispers of "SHHHHHH Mommy will hear us!!")
Sadly, I eye my laptop with longing, put it down, and quietly, so as not to give them any warning, I tiptoe up the stairs and into their room. Soren is in Ashe's bed, and the moment he catches sight of my shadow he leaps up and sails across the room into his own. I swear that boy's feet never touched the ground he was moving so fast.
I glared at both kids, Ashe with his eyes shut so tight I thought he would burst a blood vessel, trying to make me believe that he is already asleep, and Soren, wide eyed, watching me warily the way a cat watches a strange dog.
"Boys, it is late. You have got to get to sleep. I'm serious. Stay in bed and no more playing. Am I clear?!"
"Yes Mommy" they say.
I look back and forth between the two of them for a moment, making sure that they understand that I am serious, and then I head back downstairs. I pick up my laptop and wait for the inevitable.
(giggle giggle *thump thump* giggle shhhh)
Rolling my eyes and sending silent scathing curses to the ceiling, I tiptoe up the stairs, this time with my laptop in hand, and enter the room. The moment I round the corner both boys fly out of the closet (which is their play fort), leap into the air, and land on their respective beds faster than an Olympic sprinter could even dream of achieving. Despite my annoyance, I was impressed, and began to wonder if I should begin training them for 2020.
We look at one another, boys wide eyed, waiting to see what I will do. I, trying to stare both of them down at the same time, which is only a feat a parental unit can accomplish. I win as the boys lower their heads in shame, either from the fact that they disobeyed, or from the fact that I caught them red handed. Most likely the latter.
"I am not kidding around tonight" I say in a low voice that makes them both lean forward to hear me and lean back into their pillows, knowing that the low voice is a voice to fear. "You two will lie down, and stay in your beds. I do not want to hear another word from you. Now get to sleep!" I glare as the boys scurry under their covers, and close their eyes tight. Sighing, I sit down on the floor by their door, open up my lap top, and prepare to play warden for awhile.
All was quiet as I surfed the web. Over time, the squeaks and shuffles of the twin beds settled, and I thought after a good twenty minutes, that they had finally fallen into a peaceful slumber. Being tired of a long day myself, I heaved a sigh of thanks to the ceiling again, and slowly, silently, made my way downstairs. I sat back into my recliner, closed my eyes, and reflected on the day.
(*thump thump thump* giggle giggle SHHHHHH *thump*)
You have GOT to be fucking kidding me!!!
Racing up the stairs I find Ashe and Soren jumping from one bed to the other, whispering and laughing as quietly as they possibly can. They didn't even hear my footsteps, this time I was not even bothering to be quiet, they were too intent on their fun.
As soon as they spot me I swear I heard a muttered "oh shit". Oh shit is right you little heathens. You want to play bed time battle? It is on!
"SOREN INTO BED NOW! ASHE, INTO MY BED NOW! If you can not get to sleep in the same room then I will separate you!"
"No Mommy, no! We'll behave, we promise!"
"You had your chance! Ashe, into my bed right this instant!"
Soren begins to sob as he realizes his partner in crime is now off to do time in another cell and he will be all alone. Ashe, taking on his role as martyr, stoically picks up his blankie, and slowly walks into my bedroom, head held high. It is the ultimate punishment for bedtime battles and he has realized that General Mom has won this particular round.
At this point in time I am exhausted, both physically and mentally. All I want to do is to have my kids in bed and asleep so that I can enjoy just a little bit of free time before I have to start it all over again. I make my way down the stairs, look around the living room, and glance lovingly at the recliner I have been rudely interrupted from for the past hour. I sink into its delicious comfort, snuggle into my spot, kick up the ottoman, and sigh.
And then I shit you not, the next thing I hear is (thump thump thump thump thump). Back and forth, back and forth, across the upstairs hall.
Despite my aggravation I am beyond curious as to who is idiotic enough to still try to escape my hearing, and risk the wrath of mom. And for what?! What could possibly be so damn important to risk it all?
Slowly, I creep up the stairs, keeping low to the ground. I take no chances of having my shadow show before I do. I tread lightly on the stairs, knowing the squeaky spots of each board, and gliding silently passed. The thumping continues, pitter pattering of little feet, racing to accomplish some goal before the end of the world as they know it. But what?
I turn the corner, slouched down like the Grinch on Christmas Eve and peer before me. The hallway is clear, and I am about to rise up when Soren dashes out of his room, racing pell mell for my darkened bedroom, arms filled to capacity with stuffed animals galore. He is bringing his banned brother contraband goods to keep him company at night.
I pop up just as he races by, to where he leaps three feet straight up into the air with a squeak! If his eyes could have gotten any bigger, I swear they would have fallen right out of his head. The moment his feet land back onto the ground he begins to wail, great heaving sobs of despair. Because he knows that he has lost.
Without breaking his song of sorrow, Soren slowly trudges back to bed on his own, gets under the covers, and turns his face to the wall.
It's now ten and I have not heard from them since. I think I won the war, but I doff my hat to Ashe and Soren. It was a hard won battle and they were very worthy opponents. And it took almost all of my parental will power to not laugh out loud at some of their outrageous antics this evening.