The Empire At Sunset

I have put the children to bed.

Perhaps that sounds like a trivial thing, especially to you, oh people who have “real jobs” managing millions of dollars of hedge fund money or negotiating peace in far off countries with iffy boarders.
Before you scoff, realize our jobs are not that different. I rule a tiny kingdom but the weight of my responsibility is not light.

I have put the children to bed, and it’s not a trivial thing. It is a major accomplishment.

All is quiet, yet a mere half hour ago I had one child in the nude, running about wiggling his bottom and chanting the immortal lyrics to “What Does the Fox Say”.  I’m happy to say our little nation embraces the arts. We push the envelope on interpretive dance.

The two year old…what can I say about the two year old?

I have to believe I have never really HAD a two year old before. The only other explanation is I blocked the whole experience from my mind (note to self: re-read old blog posts for signs of a two year old).

This one’s crazy. In the most cute, adorable, enchanting way. When I started to put HIM to bed…wait, let’s rewind. First, I had to give him his SECOND bath of the day because I was tired of someone screaming, “YES I AM STINKY!” at me.

AFTER his SECOND bath, I started to put him to bed and he refused to be rocked. He spent that quality time pointing at MY eyes and yelling, “DOSE ARE MY EYEBALLS! Dey are MY eyeballs! GIVE THEM TO ME!!!”

I ignored him. It’s my national policy to NOT negotiate with terrorists.

I gave up on singing and cuddling and I said, “Now I will put you in your bed.”

He screamed, “NO! It NOT time for bed.”

He paused to see the effects of his words sink in, and when he sensed his mind tricks had not swayed me he went for the extreme tactic. He attempted to create an alternate reality with just his words and tiny pointer finger.

“DATS NOT MY BED!” he yelled wildly, pointing at the little crib/trundle that he has slept in (more or less) for his entire life.

I giggled. I rose to the bait and began negotiations with Iran.

“Who’s bed is it then?” I asked, confident that I had won the argument.

“IT’s SHELDON’s! It is Sheldon’s BED! Don’t put me in it!”

I hung up the phone, unplugged the fax machine, and the peace talks ceased. I gently laid him down on his pillow and he rolled over with a toy car in his fist. He had tested the universe and found everything to be in it’s proper place. I hope he sleeps well in the knowledge that the world is not his responsibility. I know I will.

Just like that, between the hours of 7 and 8 p.m. Pacific time, a little empire felt the wrinkle of rebellion AND modern art, and lived to see another quiet evening. I have put the children to bed. Parents, join me in raising your scepters and cheering! We have kept a small civilization together for another day.*

*my sincere condolences if you find yourself in a more dramatic uprising. Good luck.

9 thoughts on “The Empire At Sunset

  1. this makes me smile. rule on, benevolent queen. (and that photo of tobin at disney, ready for bed, with stars in his eyes? i have an almost exact replica of that, from when my daughter was that age.you're right, disney is a magical place for 3 yr olds.)

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  2. I heart so hard that you acknowledge, amidst laughter and exasperation, that your kingdom (though tiny) is full of responsibility. I love how you make mothering an art form that we all get to join in and paint alongside of you with. Please write as much as you can. Your words… they are good.

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  3. Oh, I love this. Bedtime routine some nights makes me want to run far, far away. (Luckily last night I was at Mom2Mom until 9:15, praise Jesus). And other nights it is beautiful and wonderful even with the exhaustion.
    Raising my scepter with you (and also looking for my crown – I've earned it, right?) Welcome back, JoAnn!

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