Bedtime

When was the last time you came upon a naked five year-old lying in bed, reciting the first 20 digits of pi in the dark?

Until this evening, I hadn’t either.

Bedtime is never dull around here. Three kids, a dog, cranky parents. Lunches to assemble, dishes to wash, homework to finish. Walk in our door around eight p.m. and you never know what you’ll find.

There’s the hunger delay. We’re in the home stretch … pj’s on, face washed, clothes down the laundry chute … and Sammy is hungry. Hungry enough that he can’t possibly go to sleep. He needs a bowl of cereal. RIGHT NOW. So down we go, back to the kitchen.

Or the homework holdup. Miriam is almost done with her homework. Really. Ten more minutes. Maybe 15. I go upstairs, brush my teeth, put away some laundry, tuck in Josh again. Back downstairs and she’s still in front of the computer, putting the finishing touches on a science brochure explaining why you should live on Venus or a stand-up presentation about Quinceañera parties in Honduras.

The dog needs to go out one more time. I need to call my friend in New Jersey. Someone’s soccer jersey needs to be washed by tomorrow morning. It’s urgent! It’s an emergency! A sixth grader must not smell on the soccer field – not till the game is over.

I’m going to sleep.

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