Friday, September 18, 2009

I Think This Girl Has a Future Doing Something Somewhere

I am a stickler about bedtime. Really, it makes me absolutely crazy when my kids go to bed even five minutes late. I feel like they're going to be too tired to cope the next day and then they'll miss one question on a math quiz and then they won't get into a good college and then they won't get a good job and then they'll end up living on the streets somewhere someday.

Completely irrational, I know. But the bedtime thing is one of my "issues." (Oh, there are so many. I think this blog will probably run for a long time as I work through my issues.)

Of course, I can't really tell the high schoolers when to go to bed, which is a totally different issue altogether. We'll get to that one another day.

Anyway, as I was putting Maggie to bed one night this week AT EXACTLY 8:30--no later!--she noticed a book we had been reading together this summer sitting on her bookshelf. We only got about halfway through because, you know, school started and usually when I try to read to her at 8:30 I end up yawning every five lines or so and it kind of stinks.

Well, wouldn't you know, Maggie started in on me. "Mom, can we please read tonight? We haven't read together in such a long time." And then she looks up at me with those big brown eyes, batting her eyelashes and giving me "that" look.

"No. It's already 8:30 and you're going to be totally tired tomorrow if you don't go to sleep NOW." Like she falls asleep the minute her head hits the pillow. No, she's not like her mama in that way.

"Pleeaasse, Mom? I just love reading with you."

"I said no. I mean no. How about tomorrow? Then we can plan for it and you'll still be in bed at the right time. Besides, I'm too tired to read tonight," I said.

"That's O.K., Mom, I'll read to you."

I hesitated. I never should have done it, but I hesitated. That is the most deadly thing a parent can do. Hesitate.

"Pleeaasse, Mom? It's a short chapter. It won't take long."

And then I did the second worse thing a parent can do. I caved. "Oh, alright," I said. "You read."

You know what she did then? She sat up in bed, pumped her fists, laughed, and said, "YES! I should be a lawyer!"

I object.


  1. Too funny, Shelly. I was just having a conversation with my kids yesterday about how "pleeeeaaaase" isn't a legitimate form of persuasion. Their solution -- they upped the ante and actually persuaded me. The result -- the kids had ice cream cones immediately before dinner. I was impressed with their persuasive skills. They ate dinner anyway. And it was kind of fun to stand in line at Subway, ordering dinner, while liking ice cream cones. They looked at us kind of funny!

  2. Reading aloud with your kiddo (Or having them read to you? Even better!) is a great reason to break the rules. Well worth a yawn or a missed math question the next day. Just as we can persuade our maker, I think we need to let our kids persuade us once in a while. Funny and lovely post Shelly.

  3. I think that girl has a GREAT future! Can't wait to see what she can do with that spunk!

    You are such a wonderful mom,Shell. I do the bedtime Nazi thing myself usually for Anna to get enough sleep but sometimes just because I NEED her to go to sleep.

    Now please write something about getting teenagers to bed. We have trouble with that too!

  4. Teehee, what a character! I feel bad every time I say no to reading, but they always seem to ask at bedtime!! Grrr.

  5. Hi Shelly,

    I also really enjoy your blog--the mundane, the daily musings, your glimpses of family life. And right now, I think my teen-ager needs to go to bed--as do I! Discipline is a good thing!

    Oh--I also love the recipes and travel Tuesdays! I know whatever I try will be delicious.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh my youngest could absolutley be a lawyer if she chose. Me? I'm a definite pushover. Easily persuaded to break rules if there's justification. My husband has always made up for that. LOL. Oh the stories that brings to mind make me smile.

  7. Love this one, too! I think I could definitely see her as a lawyer. :-)