Dear Bedtime,

I’ve worked so hard for you. I read books about you. I wrote notes on you. I talked endlessly about you with my friends and family. But I’m coming to realize that this is a one-way relationship. You don’t love me, and you don’t work hard for me. Therefore, I’m going to tell you how I really feel.

I’m just going to be straightforward and say, you need to shape up and stop making my kids possessed. When I mention your name, it’s like I just told my kids the cats died and a Bergen took every single toy from the playroom, and they are going to have to travel across the land to save them. I totally took that story line from Trolls, if you missed it. And you see, they would need a Poppy to help them, and I’m more of a Branch kind of troll, so my kids would be SOL.

Back when I first had a relationship with you, I would place my kids in their cribs, and they would fall asleep like beautiful little angels. I would go relax on the couch, watch some TV and read a book and then snuggle into my covers and fall asleep. Yep, I was that mom who had it all figured out.

But now, Bedtime, it’s completely different. Why didn’t you warn me about toddlers? I thought we were close and that I could depend on you. You have let me down in the worst way.

My kids, like I said before, are possessed. Brushing their teeth is like prying a crocodile’s mouth open. Putting on their pajamas is like trying to dress a rabid sloth—crazy and slow all at the same time.

After that, I’ve had about all I can take, but I have no choice but to move on to the next miserable step if I want them to ever go to sleep.

Picking out books to read usually ends in a fight between the two kids with the end resulting in me having to read five books to two kids who are doing anything but actually listening to the books they fought about for ten minutes.

Then we turn off the lights and stop talking. This is when I used to just leave but not anymore. Did I forget to mention that they now insist on sleeping together? That’s important to point out because I am now forced to be in the middle of them while they fall asleep.

Do you know how hard it is to escape the grasp of the middle part of the bed without waking either child up? Not to mention the youngest wants to ‘sleep on my arm’ so when I try to get up I have to slowly lift her head to remove my, now completely dead, arm from underneath. And just when I’m about to leave and I think they are asleep, my oldest will grab onto my shirt and say, ‘one more minute’ without even opening her eyes. I’m convinced she has some kind of magical power.

After all of that, I am pretty worn out every night. Bedtime, you have really left me stranded. Most of these nights require a lot of wine to calm my nerves and give me false confidence that I can do it again, the next night.

Oh, and Bedtime, I used to think the craziness was over when I finally hit the pillow. I’m smarter now because every night in bed, I wait for the great migration to occur. The great kid migration that is. Not only does it take forever to get these kids to bed, but then they just throw all the effort out the window when I am awakened by a child crawling over me to get to the middle of the bed, making sure not to miss the opportunity to knee me right in the side.

As you can see, I need a sign. Any kind of sign that you will be back someday and be the bedtime that I remember.


The forgotten toddler mom