Oh you know, the regular

We are all trying to get settled into the school routine now that we’re back to it, and it’s been long enough that it’s not feeling new, but short enough that we’re still sort of hoping it might be a mistake and it’s still summer. I’m not really sure what’s happening. Mornings haven’t been too bad just yet (I wrecked it by saying that, I’m aware), but evenings are proving challenging.

I forgot that when everyone doesn’t get home until after seven, I really have to crack that whip and shove dinner in front of everyone to keep the evening moving along. (But why are they late? They had cake after marching band. GUESS WHO WASN’T HUNGRY FOR DINNER?) Monkey used to be my reliable “Well, it’s 8:30, I’d better turn in!” angel of a easy-to-bed kid, but I guess he’s a little old for me to still be expecting that from him. The problem is that escalation, thy name is sibling. Chickadee never wants to go to bed, EVER (this is not new; she was the prototypical BUT I’M NOT TIIIIIRED!! shrieking toddler and is now just… a larger, slightly quieter version of that), but now that NEITHER of them want to leave, it’s a complete goat rodeo every night.

Mind you, I don’t force anyone into bed. Just LEAVE ME ALONE. Go upstairs, be quiet, do whatever. I don’t care. You don’t have to sleep, but I don’t want to see you anymore. I think that’s fair.

Meanwhile, last night I didn’t manage to evict them from the family room until around 9:30, and once upstairs, they commenced having some sort of discussion (?) or argument right at the top of the stairwell, bickering back and forth until I bellowed, “GOODNIGHT! GO! TO! BED!”

Chickadee bellowed back, “DON’T TELL ME HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE!” while Monkey came streaking back down the stairs to do a victory lap around the first floor, shirt held triumphantly above his head and trailing behind him like a flag, calling, “I’m a FREE SPIRIT! I CANNOT BE CONTAINED!”

The dogs were super confused. I, myself, found it difficult to be cross when they were both being such goobers.

ANYHOO, I just like to establish my status as a professional and flawless parent (*cough*) before redirecting you to my latest bit of parenting advice over at Alpha Mom. Today I’m tackling the “my kid isn’t fitting in with her peers” question, and thank goodness, that is MUCH easier to address than getting teenagers to go to bed.


  1. lakeline

    I assume you’ve already tried the Graphically ANd Exaggeratedly Make Out With Otto On The Couch plan?

    • Mir

      They just say “EWWWWWW!” and keep on bickering. It’s amazing.

      • lakeline

        Ugh, that was going to be my silver bullet :(

  2. el-e-e

    Oh no. It gets worse?? I’m going to bed, myself, then.

  3. Caz

    Can’t you just go to bed yousrelf? I know this comes from a childless adult, but once my brother and I hit our mid-late teens (15+ probably) if we were up doing homework or watching tv etc. (although often in our rooms as my desktop computer was there) my parents just went to bed themselves for peace and quiet and left us to our own devices. It’s been a long time since the night-time house (post 9pm) wasn’t my domain (well when I lived at home)

    • Mir

      Well sure, if we wanted to go to bed. But we want to watch TV and not listen to them argue. (We’re romantics like that….)

      • Lucinda

        We have always had the same rule with our kids but as they have gotten older, it’s gotten harder and harder to get them to their rooms. We got a really good tv in our bedroom a few years ago and we are fortunate enough to have room for a couple chairs in our room as well, so my husband and I retreat to OUR room now rather than wait for the children to clear the family room. It has been pure bliss. I know a tv in the bedroom is not for everyone but it works for us.

  4. Mary Grubbs

    “goat rodeo”–This is one of the reasons why, although my children are no longer teenagers, I still enjoy your blog. Great use of language!

  5. Katherine

    My teens live in their bedrooms. I would never see them if they had a fridge in their rooms! Not that I want to hear them argue, mind you, but I would like to see them voluntarily outside the bedroom sometimes.

  6. Barbara

    “Goat rodeo” is officially part of my vocabulary now. Thank you.
    I just put the 4 yo to bed because in our house, cranky irritable children have to go to bed. Pleasant quiet children can stay awake. But they have to do it where they can’t hear the grown-ups TV :)

  7. Stacy

    My six year old wants to know why I put her to bed so early (I don’t, she just doesn’t like to sleep). Well, my husband is on an 8 month deployment, so I need that me time. Which is what I told her. Actually, I told her, “If you don’t want mommy to kill you, you need to stay in your room.” It hasn’t worked very well, but nothing has worked when it comes to her sleeping or leaving me alone. I was hoping when she was a teenager it would get easier.

  8. Elizabeth

    Have you tried melatonin with dinner? (j/k)

  9. Daisy

    And after it was all over, after you wrote it in blog post form, did you laugh? I’m sure I would have laughed – after banging my head on the wall a few times.

  10. Kira

    Goat rodeo. This is the best term for what I feel like I do a lot of the time at work…I teach middle school band and chorus. I am constantly attempting to herd children who don’t want to be herded.

  11. Andrea

    Thought it was just me that wanted to be left alone at the end of a long day.

    And while it is true, I blame their early-ish bedtime on my sleep-scientist friend who told me the absolute best thing I could do for the girls starting in infancy was getting them a good night’s sleep. For the most part I keep the ” I need quiet time” to myself.

  12. Chris

    Mine are less in the living room (in full disclosure we have another much larger TV with a comfy lounge couch in the basement that they use) but I CAN NOT get them to go to bed. At one level this should not be my problem any longer and on the other, they are so grumpy and out of sorts the next day that they end up getting themselves into trouble, not doing as well in school and making everyone in the household unhappy.

    When bedtime was 10, I could keep corralling them and get to bed by 10:30 but now they are leaning toward 11 and I have to be up at 6 for work so would prefer to be in bed by 10 myself.

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