Everything else, Life and Parenting

A series of misadventures: Bedtime

Picture the scene. It’s bedtime. After nicely putting their own pyjamas on, the biggest child brushes her own teeth while Mummy helps the second biggest with hers. The baby sits on the floor playing quietly with a toy. Then Mummy pops the baby on her lap and sits on the bed; a child either side of her listening to the bedtime story they picked out together. After the story, she tucks each child into bed, they exchange kisses and cuddles, say goodnight and she turns off the light. After feeding the baby her milk, Mummy tucks her in bed too, and heads downstairs to fix herself a nice cup of tea.

Sound familiar? If so, congratulations, you’re a super hero! Please can you come and make that happen in my house?!

Or maybe you sometimes have nights like we did yesterday and the scenario above is a distant dream! Let me share last night with you – I can laugh now, but believe me I was crying then!

Related post: A series of misadventures: holiday ‘fun’.

Picture bedtime. Daddy has gone out. Biggest and middle child are full of energy and don’t want to go to bed so are running around like lunatics. They DO NOT want to put on their pyjamas. Baby has been suffering from a tummy bug, which has caused horrendous nappy rash and is crying because the poor thing is feeling awful.

Mummy bribes bigger two into their pj’s with promises of coco pops for breakfast if they go to bed nicely. Decides that their feeble attempts at brushing their teeth will just have to do and it’s not worth the battle. Tucks them into bed and tells them to read their own bedtime story because the baby has just had another episode of diarrheoa so she needs to go and deal with that.  Half way through changing, baby has another poo, one of the explosive kind, that manages to make its way off the mat and all over the carpet.

Mummy fetches new clothes for baby and shouts at the herd of elephants upstairs to get back in bed. Sticks poor baby into the playpen and scrubs aforementioned poo out of carpet and disinfects the floor. Then she takes baby up to bed for another attempt at sleep. Checks on elephants to find they have found and emptied half a bottle of baby shampoo onto second biggest’s hair, and put half a packet of baby wipes down the bathroom toilet. Mummy takes second biggest to bathroom and tries to wash off the shampoo, there are bubbles everywhere. Baby starts screaming. Mummy gives up, towels dries the bubbles and puts child back to bed. Fetches the baby who proceeds to vomit over herself and Mummy.  Mummy changes the baby’s clothes (again) and puts back in cot. Goes and changes into clean clothes. Puts kettle on and makes cup of tea. Remembers the wipes and goes back upstairs to fish them out of the toilet. Sits down with the now well needed cup of tea. Baby starts crying, she has pooed AGAIN. Tea is now cold.

Parenthood is sometimes just not how we picture it should be! It’s a good job they’re cute.

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What parenting really looks like, an evening in the life of a not so picture perfect family

Related post: Not getting enough sleep? How to cope with sleep deprivation as a new parent.

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  1. You have a wonderful writing voice. I could follow the story and giggled (in sort of a shared sympathetic way). Happy you can laugh only one day later. Thank you for sharing this post on our link party.

  2. Wouldn’t that first scenario be nice for all of us? My children seem to want answers to every question I know nothing about each night around 30 minutes after bedtime.

    I can’t wait to read more of your work!

  3. Your life (and bedtime) sounds much like mine! We actually have four children: an 8 year old, a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 20 month old. Most nights the 4 year old’s “excuse” for not getting jammys on is, “My tummy has owies in it!” If our 6 year actually is not distracted by the toys (that were supposed to be put away before dinner) he might perhaps obey….it’s a 50/50 chance. Our oldest is usually on “baby duty” keeping track of little one who is continually trying to sneak down the stairs! Basically once the middle two are dealt with I can focus on the baby while our oldest dashes to get done. One of our motivators is that my husband has actually committed to reading individual stories with each of them seperately in an attempt to spend some much needed one-on-one time with each.

    Be encouraged! If I may, I will pray that the evenings will go more smoothly and baby’s tummy gets healed. Besides the above mentioned, my hardest part is that our 20 month old refuses to sleep in her own crib…so at 10pm or so she has to be with us….for the rest of the night…while I try to sleep between her and my husband. Needless to say we have been attempting for almost a year now to train her into her crib. Seems like when we are just able to gain progress she usually gets some kind of bug, or is teething, or (like right now) has either a cold or allergies and can’t breathe to sleep properly and has to have her head elevated to sleep at all. All the hard work seems to have been for nothing and we are back to square one!

    Thanks again for your post full of honesty, transparency, humor and vulnerability!

    1. Miss manypennies says:

      Wow, four children, I don’t know how you do it! So glad to hear that it’s not just me who has a bit of chaos sometimes! Totally understand about the co sleeping, sometimes it’s just worth getting the sleep that you can. My 2 year old has only just gotten the hang of sleeping through the night, until recently she woke up multiple times and was really hard to settle back down. I really hope for your sleep and sanity that your daughter starts sleeping in her crib soon! Thanks so much for your kind words and prayers xx

  4. Boy, am I glad those days are over for me! Still, even with teens, it can be tough to keep a routine. And it’s so much harder getting them all up in the morning….

  5. Shonny says:

    Thanks for sharing! Awesome writing. This is my life totally. My kids are 5, 4, and 3. Every day is an adventure. Getting them all to brush their teeth is a huge task. Mornings are difficult at best with trantrums from all three kids sometimes. In spite of it all, we have lots of fun too. I get to be a kid again through them.

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