Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How to Insure that Everyone Sleeps Late

So, we had a rather late evening (for us) yesterday. It was Labor Day and we spent the entire day at some friends' house. We took John's rapidly-becoming-famous ribs over for lunch. The plan was to eat and swim and hang out. But, after a double-digit number of days of triple-digit weather, thankfully, it rained. And rained. And rained some more. We could not have been more thankful. So we fed the kids (their two and our three) hot dogs (why waste fabulous ribs on kids who won't appreciate them?) and sent them upstairs to play. Our friends turned on the pool heater so that maybe the kids could swim. It wasn't a thunderstorm, just a slow, steady rain.

Well, we ended up all swimming. In the rain. And it was GREAT! We even brought little Charlotte out into the hot tub with us. We don't even have a swimsuit for her (do they even make them in 0-3 month size?) so she just chilled out in a swim diaper. She loved it, by the way. We didn't keep her in too long, though. It was pretty warm in the hot tub. After I got her dressed again, we put her in the infant carrier with a giant golf umbrella over her on the deck. She was perfectly content!

Anyway, we had dinner with our friends, too, then we let the kids stay up far, far too late while we visited downstairs. Mitchell, of course, was asleep in the pack-n-play, but the other kids were upstairs playing. We finally got them home and in bed about 10 p.m. Jack was upset with John because he didn't read to him (Oh, the horror, the abuse!).

So, here's how to make sure, in a house with four children, that everyone sleeps as late as humanly possible:

1. Wake up early (6 a.m.) and realize that the baby slept all night!

2. Feed the baby when she wakes up at 6:30.

3. Decide to go ahead and get the baby dressed; undress the baby before you've even finished snapping the outfit up because she just spit up all over it. Redress baby and lay her down by Daddy in the bed.

4. Check email and favorite blogs.

5. Intercept 4 year-old as she's coming down the stairs with her blanket, upset because she's left her favorite bracelet at friends' house last night. Remind her to use her "whisper voice" so she won't wake up the rest of the family. Lay down on the couch with her since it's only 7 a.m. and you know she's still tired.

6. Carefully remove your arm from under (miraculously) sleeping 4 year-old's head because 23 month-old is calling you from his crib. ("Mom-may! Mom-may!)

7. Enter 23 month-old's room and pull out all the tricks to try to keep him in his room so that he won't wake up the rest of the household. Ask the now-awake Daddy to bring yogurt into the 23 month-old's room to buy more time.

8. Send 23 month-old to the shower with Daddy to keep him out of the living room. Resort to covering his mouth with your hand when he screams a bloodcurdling scream because he doesn't want to put his diaper back on after the shower.

9. Realize that 4-year old is now awake, but 2 month-old is now asleep. Head to the kitchen to get breakfast and try to keep kids quiet so as not to wake 6 year-old and 2-month old.

10. Jump through hoops to keep kids quiet ("Do you want this? How about this? Oh, this Thomas the Tank Engine cup? Milk or water, your highness?")

11. Sneak upstairs to check on 6 year-old.

12. Realize that 6 year-old has been awake and playing K'Nex in his room for at least 1/2 hour.

13. Resolve to never keep kids up past bedtime again.

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