Aside from an alarm failing to go off, we made it to school awake, dressed and mostly happy ( the news F couldn’t wear his cape, which is actually a double bed sheet didn’t go down very well). The BIG day we have been waiting for excitedly, nervously, desperately and in denial-ly has been and nearly gone.
There were only tears when O couldn’t see me as I had momentarily lost F in the hoards of parents, only to find him sitting down on the floor talking to a recently decapitated caterpillar, and it was a bit emotional seeing O’s sleep creased face looking a bit too serious, but we survived, phew! “What, you didn’t cry?!” shouts everybody who knows me. I know, I know, I was on the brink. But yesterday I had an EPIPHANY! Amongst the nerves, the melancholy that the summer was over, I realised that going to school means that bedtime will be at NORMAL o ‘ clock, NOT half past completely RIDICULOUS o’ clock! A fact that fills my slightly heavy “Where have my little boys gone?” heart with jumping joy. It turns out that days of beach, lego, umpteen viewings of Frozen, eating your bodyweight in ice-cream , destroying the house, painting yourself from top to toe with felt tip doth not tired boys make. Quite the contrary, it fills them with extra energy which burns slowly throughout the day slowly getting greater and greater until, just after 7.30pm (the bedtime of yesteryear) they turn into the duracell bunnies and nothing suppresses the great ripple of energy. Nothing, not talking in a ridiculously calm (slightly psychotic) voice, closing all the shutters (” Mummy, we can still see the sun, why are you making the house dark?”), warm milk, reading stories where all the characters are going to bed, putting on their pyjamas or going to bed myself. One night I managed to get them to bed by 7.30pm, it was paradise. I was ecstatic, until they woke at 1:45, 2:37, 3:15, 4:52 and 5:45 am where I admitted defeat and we started the day. “Oooo, it’s a bit dark outside isn’t it!” exclaimed O “Yes” giggled F shouting “Wake up lazybones day!” at the tired sky. In fact bedtime turned into such a ridiculous part of the day that on a few occasions I had to throw it all to the wind and just join them. One night all dressed for bed and nowhere to go ( I showed them the way to their bedrooms, they just laughed) We piled them into the car and we did a bit of rock climbing, made all the more exciting by potential wild boar sightings, but luckily they waited for us to leave. ( I was not too excited by the prospect of scooping up two boys and running down a hill in my flip flops from a herd of hungry boars). They fell asleep in the car on the way home – result! Another night , I took them out on their skates and scooter, only for them to come back and F had a meltdown about circular bread and triangular fish fingers. So, instead of two ready for bed boys, the next hour was spent negotiating with an angry toddler who was only calmed by watching Frozen from start to finish, twice. Bedtime had become BADtime. Obviously being the holidays, I wasn’t expecting bedtime to be early but closer to the witching hour than In the Night Garden was a bit much night after night. Today at lunchtime ( school day – 9-12:30, 3:00 – 4:30pm ) O started wailing , “I’m too tired Mummy, I don’t need school. I didn’t go for a hundred years, why today?” I try to distract him by making a cake , Once he has licked the bowl inside and out, he smiles, satisfied. “I’ll go and put my pyjamas on, when the cake’s ready we’ll eat it and then it will be bedtime , ok? ” He says hopefully. It looks like recruiting for my Bring Back Bedtime Campaign is going to be a piece of cake.