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  • Writer's pictureEliza

A Bedtime Routine

Have a bedtime routine they tell me. Keep a track of it they say. is mine:

6:00pm. Walk in the door. Post strewn across the floor and books lay as I ponder if we have been burgled. It seems the burglar has a key as they make a daily appearance.

6:10pm. Follow the trail of litter and socks and carrots...yes carrots. Leftover from the school snack trolley or so I am told. Two children with shoes on the sofa. Wet pants on the floor. Husband in the kitchen mercifully cooking dinner surrounded by what can only be described as a mould spores party venue - choice landing places galore. Dishwasher full.

6:15pm. Emotional breakdown. Turn TV off and request, politely, shoes off wet pants away...carrots, yes carrots...washed and in fridge. Meltdown. TV sacred. Loud protests but jobs completed.

6:20pm. Mum rage and tears. Sit on the floor. Feel overwhelmed. Stress from the day pouring out in big fat wet tears on the floor. Silent so the children don't see. It feels good and cathartic. I needed this.

6:40pm. Join family for dinner. Apologise to each other and make a family agreement. Positive, constructive. Perhaps this time it will be ok. Reminder to myself to make sure I have a snack in the car and check my emotions before I walk in. Eat in compatible company. Peace.

6:43pm. Youngest pokes oldest (developmentally similar) with fork accidentally. Oldest highly sensitive. Explosion. Peace no longer. Mindfulness, thera-play game. Hugs and reconnections.

7:00pm. Divide and conquer. Husband takes oldest, I take youngest. Toddler vibes. Not the Bluey pyjamas....oh actually yes the Bluey pyjamas. Give responsibility, anthropomorphise, make it silly. Laughter, clothes on. Wriggly squishy toddler cuddles.

7:10pm. Teeth cleaned. Various breaks and playing in the sink. Bubblegum flavour. Smells amazing. Why is adult flavour always mint.

7:17pm. Join oldest and husband. Reading stories. Funny stories for five year olds. Very odd. Glittery snakes and King Kevin in a pet shop. Toddler hyper but I know the crash is coming. Burn up those last little fizzy vibes little one ready for sleep.

7:25pm. Youngest starts to flag and snuggles in. Blanket up to chin and sucking her little fingers. Tag team. Husband takes youngest to settle in her room and fall asleep. I kiss oldest and thank God for the day she came to us. Always sad for her trauma but ever grateful for the chance to be her mum.

7:35pm. Sink into bed. Online food shop. Overspend because hungry. Never shop when hungry. Emotions really do take energy. Another night of highs and lows. Overwhelming gratitude for lessons to be learnt, forgiveness and family. Re-frame - grateful for mess which means the house is full of wonderful people.

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