Bedtime

I am a camp widow once again.  This year I have the new experience of single-parenting FOUR littles for two weeks.  So far, it’s been…real.

Most of the day is fairly typical.   Lots of checking up on kids to make sure I know where they are, doing housework and cleaning up messes.  We’ve had a lot of simple meals, many of which have been from my stash of homemade frozen pancakes that we’ve enjoyed for breakfasts AND dinners. 🙂 We’ve been reading books together, practicing handwriting and math skills, and doing a lot of outdoor playing.

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On a few occasions, I’ve even worked up my nerve to go someplace.  We’ve run a few errands, gone blueberry picking, and visited the camp for a few hours.  (On a side note, I have not worked up the gumption to go to the store, so our dog ran out of food tonight.  I may actually have to go shopping tomorrow).  😉

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The hardest part of this camp widow-ness experience is bedtime.  Usually, unless it’s a meeting night, my man and I tag team the kids to bed.  He’s in one room, I’m in the other.  Everyone stays in their beds, gets to talk about the day, snuggle, get water delivered as needed.  If someone cries, a parent is quick to be there to help.

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Me working solo –  it’s a completely different story.

Here’s how it looked tonight:

Dinner is done, so I declare it bath/shower time.  Little guy goes in the tub to soak off the days dirt and grime.  Big guy is headed to the shower.  The girls are slated to go next.

It doesn’t quite go that way.

I head to the shower to tell my oldest it’s time to get out, and find he and his sister taking a shower together!  Oh well, guess they’re both clean… Moving on.

Baby gets washed, Little guy gets dried off, teeth brushed, and sent to his room to get a diaper on.  Baby is laying on her towel in the bathroom singing to the lights above.

I seriously was only seconds behind the Little guy, but was too late to prevent the potty break that just occurred on the CARPET in front of his dresser.  He’s laughing, I’m not!  This is just one more in a long line of pee spots I’ve cleaned up for this little dude today.

Everyone dressed for bed, I assign the two oldest to play a game with Little guy while I put Baby to bed.  This of course includes nursing her, so I expect to be “out of commission” for a good 20 minutes at least.  “Normally” this works great, but when I’m the only adult around, the kids seem to think this is an invitation to come back and loudly tell on each other, or cry about a boo-boo, or share a toy/info that is just too important to wait until I reappear.  Baby decides there’s too much going on and she now needs me to soothe her to sleep rather than her usual quickly dozing off for the night.   This takes a good 45 minutes, at least.

Finally, I get Little guy and put him to bed.  We read a story, sing some songs, kiss, and say goodnight.  He’s had croup the last few nights (wouldn’t ya know?), and is EXTRA clingy and needy.  A simple bedtime is not going to happen here either I’m afraid.

Baby starts crying!

Back and forth I go.  Comfort baby, answer two-year olds yells for mama.  Comfort baby, get two-year old back in bed.  Comfort baby, rescue two-year old from lamp he pulled down on himself.  Comfort baby, get two-year old out of  bathroom and the water still in the baby bath.  Finally, she remembers her thumb and starts to settle down and drift off to sleep.

The oldest two are going back and forth about who knows the rules to Chutes and Ladders.  A fight breaks out.  They are sent to brush their teeth and I’m comforting a crying two-year old, who’s coughing his seal bark again.

Finally I give in and lay down with him, only to have him toss and turn and rub my skin until it feels like it will bleed.  I decide this might work better if I’m not in his bed.

Oldest kids want me to play a game with them.  I tell Little guy to stay in bed, and he complies with only minor complaints.

We play halfway before I’m called back to Baby with cries. The two oldest finish the game nicely, thankfully!  I send them to bed before something goes wrong.  Half-pint wants to snuggle and since the baby is quiet now, I agree.  It lasts about three minutes before cries come from the boy’s room.  I have no idea what happened, but Little guy insists he’s hurt, and he was out of his bed, so I’m assuming he’s right.

He’s laid down, kissed, told to stay in bed, and I go back to Half-pint.  She falls asleep rather quickly, so I’m able to check back in with the Little guy.  He’s still struggling with something, so I lay down with him again.  After about 15 minutes, he gives up the fight and starts snoozing.  I ease out of his bed, only to find out he wasn’t asleep YET.  Now he’s mad at me!!

I prop him up with some extra pillows, give him some medication for his slight fever, and sit by his side.  He does eventually fall asleep, at 9:30 – two hours after I put him to bed originally.

I’m pooped!!  But, the good news is, they’re all asleep for this moment, and I’m enjoying it very much!!  Bad news is, it probably won’t last very long, so I better scoot off to bed myself before the  nighttime routine starts (after I clean the whole roll of TP out of the toilet that someone happily threw in there before bed).   The last few nights it’s been a lot of propping Little guy up, holding him, and taking him outside to breathe cold air. Not to mention the little lady that keeps showing up in my room asking to sleep in my bed, and the other even littler lady who likes to eat around 2 and 4.  🙂

I really do love it that my guy gets to be at camp, but I sure do miss him here!  As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder…and camp widows grow very TIRED.

Good-night, all!  Sweet dreams, and may your night be much more uneventful than mine.

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