I typically get up somewhere in the 6 o’clock hour, without an alarm. Most people would not call this lazy – but really, that’s exactly what it is.
My kids stay up late you see, and there are different reasons for this fact – some a bit closer to the real truth than others. It all depends on who’s asking. And while each reason is true, I have one answer for the conservative crowd, one answer for the neutral crowd, and one answer for the other people who have admitted to lazy-parenting short cuts in the past – no judgment.
When someone asks me what time my kids get up in the morning and I say “late”, the question that typically follows is an incredulous, bleary eyed: “How do you do it?!” It is at this juncture that I evaluate the other party and then decide which of my three answers I’m going to give.
Response to parenting conservative: oh, we let them stay up late so they can spend more time with dad.
While true, is really only a coincidence.
Response to someone with a parenting pH of 7: if they stay up late, they sleep late, so I have my mornings to myself.
Most people get this. And while also true, still might be considered lying by omission if I were under oath.
Response to the far-leftist parenting crowd: they stay up late because I’m too lazy to put them to bed.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
See, parents who put their kids to bed “early” have their evenings to themselves, and if that’s your drug of choice then rock on. Me? I prefer to get up early and have my mornings to myself. It’s one or the other folks, not both. I’ll take Morning Alone Time for $800, Alex.
I go to bed at the same time they do –> my adult self doesn’t need nearly as much sleep as their child selves do –> I get to do my own thing until 8, maybe even 9 or 9:30 the next morning.
It balances out either way, it just depends on what time of day you prefer to drink coffee and eat overnight oats in peace. Personally, I prefer to drink coffee in the morning – not right before I go to bed.
And it all boils down to this fact:
Bed time is a royal pain in the you-know-what. And no, I’m not talking about this thing that is holding up my head.
I’d like to believe that most parents with small children would agree with me on this. I’m sure though that there are plenty of people out there who can claim that bedtime at their house goes as smoothly as dropping a greased watermelon into a pair of pantyhose.
Here? Bedtime is more like shoving a watermelon wrapped in barbed wire under your shirt if they aren’t ready. It was easier when they were little and I could pick them up. Now they have to be herded, and frankly I just don’t care that much. Not tired? Fine by me. It goes more greasy watermelon-ish when they are begging me to let them go to bed.
And where do our homeschooling selves have to be before 10 AM most days anyway? No where. Let them stay up and therefore sleep in, let me have some quiet time in the morning, let me freak out all my friends whose kids get up when it’s still dark.
Watermelons aside, I have to tell you that bed time went quite smoothly last night and that would be because of this:
File this one under: Why Didn’t Someone Give Me This Idea Sooner
That play tent is a hand-me-down from a friend (thanks Mike!) and has been applauded by both children and adults alike in our home. Not only is this tent PINK (little girls cheer!) but it came with an awesome idea (parents cheer!)
Last minute requests to sleep in the tent were made last night just as were getting ready for bed. Nope, sorry gang. Not tonight. It’s late and I’m too exhausted to monkey around. And when I peered into that crystal ball they give you when your kids are born, I saw the 1:00, 2:15 and 3:30 AM I-can’t-sleep-because-I’m-sleeping-on-the-hardwood-floor wake up calls. I think we could be rejecting this request for any future nights well.
It was at this moment that the idea of putting the tent on the bed was revealed to me by my parental co-conspirator.
Put the tent on the bed? Before the smoke could clear away from the image of a sweet pink tent containing peacefully sleeping children in my crystal ball, I knew it would work. Blankets filled the air as they were ripped away from the mattress. Pink tent hoisted and maneuvered into position. Pillows and sleeping bags and books and excited children in feetie pajamas were piled into the pink tent with reckless abandon.
Bed time locked and fully loaded: all in under 60 seconds.
This my friends is why bedtime went so smoothly last night. This also why I’m finishing up this post along with my sweet potato oats and coffee this morning in peace and quiet.
Oats made last night with:
- 1/2 c rolled oats
- 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
- about a 1/4 c 2% Fage
- Nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon
- 1/4 c or so of the last of the left over sweet potato casserole from Thanksgiving
Soaked overnight, topped this morning with a scoop of almond butter and one more dollop of sweet potatoes.
If you have small children and a tent and a big mattress, you know what to do next. If not? Put sweet potatoes in your oats and we’ll call it even.