This says 8pm to me. Clothes on the floor. In the lounge, the kitchen, the hall, the bathroom, the dining room. Sometimes even in the bedrooms. Sometimes they even get put in the washing basket, but they’re usually the ones which have only been worn for an hour and are immaculate.
These are my daughter’s clothes. The slight advantage of my daughter is that she at least has the decency to dump her clothes in one place. Often fairly close to her bedroom. Sadly, until a couple of months ago, she took her clothes off in her bedroom and folded them carefully. But she has learned bad habits from her brothers.
8pm is bedtime. Sort of. 8pm is the time I would LIKE to be bedtime, but I don’t remember it ever happening. Even when we only had one child, even when he was a baby. We never seemed to manage to get him in bed before 8.20.
At 8pm I would like to have finished reading my daughter’s story and she would be tucked up in bed just dropping off to sleep. I would just have started reading to my boys, then at 8.15 I would leave them to read their own books until 8.30 when the lights would go off and they would go to sleep.
To achieve this dream, the bedtime process needs to start as close to 7pm as possible. Then follows up to three hours of mess, noise, procrastination and an awful lot of clothes on the floor.
My daughter trails around the house drinking orange juice at the speed of a snail. Just when you think she’s finished and is FINALLY going to go and clean her teeth, she announces she needs another orange juice. So she gets her story about 8.20.
The boys’ story might be 8.35 or 8.50. Or it might not even happen. I love reading to them and I know they like me to read, but sometimes the procrastination goes on too damn long and there just isn’t time for a story.
Lately the procrastination has moved up to a whole new level. Because now my eldest is at secondary school. And it’s not cool to go to bed at 8.30. But, here’s the thing. He NEVER goes to bed at 8.30 anyway, so what’s the problem?! He should be going to bed at 9.30 or 10. And, guess what? He does! And so does his 8 year old brother. They might be in their room just before 9, but they are never asleep or even in bed until nearly 10.
So why can’t he just say he goes to bed at 10? He’s not even lying much. And who cares if he is anyway? Because you can bet 90% of the other kids are lying too.
So that’s 8pm for me. Lost in the midst of the most soul-destroying part of the day.
This post was written in response to The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers. Pop over to see how other people have interpreted 8pm.