Blue Toothpaste and The Grumpy Mama

I hate bedtime. I really, really hate bedtime. It seems, due to my sucky organizational skills and my less than structured nature, bedtime is chaos in this house. Tonight, Bean and Abby were downstairs when I called for bedtime. Jeffrey was outside swinging. In his jammies, with new white socks in the dirt. David was taking a phone call. No one listens to me. Much whining, crying and gnashing of teeth later, all three kids are in bed, David is still on the phone, I’m covered in sweat and all ticked off.

We don’t do baths every night. Call me a bad mom (I dare you) , but I think every other night is more than enough torture, thank you very much. But we do have what passes for routine. Jammies, teeth, reading time, kisses and prayers, lights out. I may not be consistent about much, but that’s pretty solid. So why, WHY is every night utter chaos? Why do they run, hide, get naked, beg for a bath on Not Bath night? Why on Bath Night do they run and hide under the bed? Why is getting them to bed such an exhausting, teeth-gritting way to end the day? I hate it. I don’t want to end my day mad at them.

And will someone PLEASE tell me why all kid’s toothpaste is blue glitter? Why? WHY? Because when it dries, and it surely will, it’s like quick-crete mortar, and you need a chisel to chunk the stuff from your bathroom mirrors and counters and sink and floor- because a four five year-old can get toothpaste everywhere, including the shower, but he CANNOT get it on his TOOTHBRUSH.

I know someday I will look back on this time and wish for it. I know snuggling with babies is divine. I know these sweet little bodies will not always clamour to be in bed next to me, to rub my cheeks, share my pillow, read the book again, kiss me again, and a dozen other spontaneous ways to stall sleep.  And I was going to put a “but” in there, and make a snarky comment about how I really just want it to be easier… then I read what I just wrote.

I’m going to go kiss their little rosebud, sleeping, trusting, innocent, precious cheeks right now instead. Even if there is blue glitter toothpaste in Bean’s hair…

17 thoughts on “Blue Toothpaste and The Grumpy Mama

  1. We don’t do baths every night. Not even every other night. We do them on Saturday nights and sometimes after a particularly muddy, painty, smelly day (and sometimes not). And sometimes we do purely recreational baths when I just need them occupied for a while. Now everyone has someone else to call a bad mom. 🙂

  2. I think that’s why writing is so good for us. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it.
    If only perspective weren’t so dang hard to maintain.

  3. Totally feel that way about bedtime too. Why do my kids want baths on no-bath night and kick and scream when it is bathtime? My kids thought the blue toothpast was “too spicy”, so I bought Toms of Maine kid toothpaste. It’s pink and taste like strawberry. I also hide it from them and dole it out myself. Yeah it’s a hassle to have to supervise tooth brushing, but it saves money on toothpaste.

  4. actually, the next stage is when the teens yell at the younger kids for putting glitter toothpaste in the sink. And you’re trying to round everyone up for a prayer, though the teens have an hour or more homework still ahead of them. And no one will come in the room, everyone wants to be last in, making a celebrity appearance. And you’ll still tuck the teens in, if you can, and worry they’re getting enough sleep before seminary.

    I’ve got one still sneaking outside in his pajamas. I don’t give baths every night. I don’t write as beautifully as you either.

  5. tfcarrie, you sound like a pretty terrific mom to me.

    Tracy, our families work in a very similar way. Some evenings go smoothly, while some evenings can be very difficult. And generally, I am the heavy who ends up with smoke shooting out of my ears. It certainly helps when my DH helps out though!

    Every time I listen to the song, “Slipping through My Fingers” from Mamma Mia, I well up with big crocodile tears thinking of the day these little people won’t be part of my evening ritual. Even with the dag-blasted blue toothpaste, the un-flushed toilet, and heaps of dirty laundry!

    Now I’m going to kiss my little ones sweet cheeks too!

  6. Ug, I so hate bedtime. I sometimes consider getting an evening job for the sole purpose of being out of the house every night at bedtime! Of course I know better. Because on the rare occasions that I do get out of the house I come home to the kids NOT in bed, NOT in jammies, toys all over and dad passed out, sound asleep on the couch.

  7. Ahhhh….wait till Abs gets a little older. Every morning I have to give the girls a shower in order for their hair to work. Otherwise it is impossible to do their hair. There is more to complain about to come! And I totally agree with Nouveau. It all comes in more stages. I have five bathrooms in my house and there are still issues every morning over showers and ready time because both the boys are now at a primping and Axe-body spraying type of age. And my 15 year old is home schooled, so really, what is up with that?

  8. My kids get baths on Saturday night and occasionally during the week if they are smelly. I have always been that way. Why bathe them every night if they aren’t dirty?

    As for the bedtime routine, just hang in there. It will get better. Someday. I promise!

  9. Did you know that toothpaste makes an excellent free cleanser to shine your sinks and fixtures? Hahahaha. That one makes me laugh everytime.

    Bedtime. We have a ritual, routine, whatever; they stall because they don’t want the end of the routine–bed. Oh well, they are really cute when they’re asleep. Other times too, just 100% of the time with they’re asleep.

  10. We do baths for the baby generally once a week an additional baths as needed. It’s nice to know I’m not the only mom who doesn’t do daily baths.

    I remember when I figured out that my parents’ toothpaste was NOT blue and sparkly. I only use the paste style now, while my husband still prefers the gel, so we always have two different kinds of toothpaste.

    FoxyJ: Now I want strawberry toothpaste.

  11. Our boys have green toothpaste and it’s watermelon flavor. Once, on vacation, I had to use it because I forgot mine.
    Never. Again.
    And without fail it ends up all over the counter, which I discover the moment I lean on the counter and smear it on my shirt, which is usually clean, and usually only when I’m rushed. Some people never learn….
    (two bath a weekers, unless something extreme happens.)

  12. Also all of my kids get flakey if I wash them more than every other day. If they have a protective layer of mud though, they seem to do OK with extra baths.

    We’ve had some pink bubble gum. And an orange one. Never blue. Hm…

  13. I am not alone… I am not alone… Whew!

    I think the cuddly moments help us moms make it through the toothpaste-all-over-the-bathroom moments! At least the hugs keep me from permanently harming my kids for the frustrating stuff…

    I dislike ANY kids’ toothpaste, and most of my kids do too. My kids will NOT touch any bubble gum flavored t-paste or ibuprofen or anything – unless it is real bubble gum. I guess because they can pull it out of their mouths, get it in their hair and on the furniture and carpet. I think they believe it’s no fun in any other form…

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