The only thing worse than a sleepy child that won't go to sleep is two sleepy children who refuse to sleep. That's me right there. I had a hard day, although it was mainly due to this unforgivable heat. Almost as soon as I got out bed I sorted through the laundry, separating it into loads. When I put the second batch of clothes on the line, I looked up at the sky and I swear I could see the makings of rain. For all those that say there is no such thing as the power of prayer, take note that pray is exactly what I did and the rain didn't fall. But I did have to abide with the heat and that just leaves you feeling tired and lazy. I kind of hoped the heat would have the same effect on the children, but to be sure, I took them to their cousin's house so they could play and exhaust themselves. When it seemed they were suitably tired, I brought them home and prepared lunch. In between preparing lunch, I continued to wash and the children helped to keep me active by doing just about everything they could think of to make me talk. That said, I'm sure you can totally understand my desire for them to go to bed early - at least one of them, preferably Jaheim. No such luck.
With his stomach finally filled with food, I can only imagine that Jaheim felt sated and it gave him a second wind. He immediately started to tell me that he wanted to finish watch Daniel Tiger. He had watched a few episodes this morning before we went over to his cousin's. His father promptly teasingly told him that there would be no Daniel Tiger. Well, Mr. Smarty waited until I was in his sight and said, "mummy, me and you could watch Daniel Tiger?" Generally, I believe in watching television with my kids. I like being aware of what they see and doing damage control where necessary. Plus, I remember my parents, mostly my dad, sitting down to watch television with us as kids. All that said, I can see where Jaheim would get the notion that I might actually enjoy watching Daniel Tiger, but he was also very much aware that if daddy said he wasn't allowed to watch it, the trick was to get mummy to want to watch it.
Tony and I exchanged a look at the boy's quick thinking and as Tony began to protest this new plan, I told Jaheim that I would come soon so that we could watch TV together. I had the fool notion that we would lay down in the bed with the fan on full blast, which really isn't much of a blast, and in time, Jaheim would fall asleep. The reality was that my stomach was too bloated for me to lay down so I put him in my lap. He held a small toy in his hand and nestled his head against my bosom as he tried to convince me to put on Daniel Tiger. I decided we would watch Robin Williams' Mrs. Doubtfire, which they had started last weekend but never finished. After a few minutes, I lost Jaheim and I only had to tell him to come back for him to let out a loud scream and force tears. I sat there watching him thinking they ought to make Oscars and Tonys for the kind of acting a kid can do. When he figured he had served whatever purpose he had intended, he dragged his toy box from the corner where it normally stays and turned it on its side. Whatever toys were still in the box after that, he used his arm like a shovel and removed. "Jaheim, put up all those toys off the floor," I said, firmly. I could hear the frustration in my voice, but by now, I knew this child wasn't going to succumb to sleep as easily as I'd hoped. He tossed two things into the box and I, satisfied that he was obeying, allowed myself to be distracted momentarily. When I looked around again, to Tony's amusement, Jaheim was sitting in the box, with a makeshift steering wheel, driving. I began to pray for night fall.
Shakir, on the other hand, was less conspicuous about his trouble. He appeared to be absorbed in the movie at least and it wasn't until much later that I realised that although he was quiet, he was not curled up nicely on his pillow, letting his body settle so that an early sleep could claim him. That's when I realised that I had two sleep shirkers on my hand. Somebody needs to give these kids a manual and explain to them what's expected of them... Oh, right... its called parenting. SIGH. Parenting, the only job where you don't collect a salary but you put in way more than a forty-hour week, but if I've learnt anything at all, it is that time is longer than twine and you can only outrun sleep for so long.
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.