How many times…?

go the f to sleepHow many times do I have to ask my kids to go to bed before I can officially lose my shit? Is it two?…three?….five? It’s got to be five. The first time I tell them its time for bed I’m nice. We have just finished dinner and I asked about their day. One of them is starting their baths and I’m checking homework. I’m still genuinely interested in their day and how they are doing mentally. I still have some “mom guilt” from getting home late so I’m trying to be patient. I purposely use my sing-songy nice voice when I say the second time “Hey, it’s getting late. Let’s start heading up”. By the third time I’m signing notebooks, shoving books into backpacks and wondering how they can accumulate so much shit in the bottom of these backpacks already…and it’s only the 5th week of school. So, by the fourth time…I’m done. I’m heading up the stairs screaming “Did everyone brush their teeth?” and “I hope you are in bed.” I told my daughter to dry her hair before bed. This request, of course, is met with immediate hysterics….bordering on a full breakdown. I realized that I’m tired…she’s tired and, frankly, I am over her wet head. “I give up!” I say. I’m trying to choose my battles and this one, I know, will not end well. “Just go to bed,” I say in retreat. Technically, she had won this battle but she was not ready to go down without a fight….. “I have to dry my hair!!! And you NEVER TAUGHT ME HOW TO DO IT!!!” (She delicately screams at the top of her lungs.) Really? Is this something that needs to be taught? I guess I just figured that me holding that hot air gun (aka: a hairdryer) to her head for the last 6-7 years was enough of a clue. It has one button….. “ON”. She proceeds to attack my parenting skills and my clear lack of interest in teaching her the ways of the world. Maybe I have spent too much time on the essentials like “not shitting your pants” or “vegetables don’t go in your nose”. I take some deeps breaths and walk her through “the hair drying process” trying not to sound condescending as I point to the hair dryer…and say “hair dryer”, or while pointing to the “ON” button and saying “ON”. But she knows I think this is dumb. For the fifth time I say quietly but through my gritting teeth (moms know what I’m talking about)… “It’s…time…for…bed”. She walks past me with four strands of dry hair and the rest of her head wet. She climbs into bed. I kiss her goodnight and say my nightly “Good night my princesses”. I am happy that I didn’t flip my shit. I’m proud of myself. I kept it together. I’m amazing……. …and that’s when I hear it….. A tiny little voice screaming at the top of her lungs, “PUT THE LIGHTS BACK ON!!! I CAN’T FIND MY BLANKIE.” And that’s when I flip my shit….