Tears before bedtime

It’s International Women’s Day today, and looking back over the many years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve never made mention of it before. Today, though, to celebrate it I gave my wife the night off and a total break from child management duties. 

Not really. She was going out on the lash so I was left holding the babies. 

Not really. She was sick with the same horrorshow La Serpiente had on Sunday, so she couldn’t go out drinking. 

Not really. Well, she could still go out of the apartment.

Two nights ago, shortly after my wife had booked herself a weekend away from the rest of us at the end of April, I’d told the girls that I’d be putting them both to bed tonight. My wife thought that was because she was going out, but I’d forgotten all about agreeing to that, and was more worried about getting in practice for the Three Days Of The Condor, or however the April bank holiday turns out. 

Still, either way it was probably good for me to have a go at washing, drying and subduing both girls on my own. My wife left me about 7:30, when a sleep deprived La Serpiente was having a nervous breakdown about having inadvertently coloured the nose of a pig on with a black pencil instead of a blue one. 

Bathing them both was actually quite easy, as was brushing their teeth. I screwed up rinsing Destroyer’s hair and only realised after I’d towelled her off, which meant I had to put her back in the tub and enrage her, but mostly I managed to get them into La Serpiente’s bedroom for story time. Then the true hilarity began. 

Destroyer started off wanting to read Julia Donaldson’s Ziggy, but she has the attention span of a small child and gave up after less than a page. La Serpiente wanted a dreadfully repetitive book about ten little toddlers, and after I’d read that and a board book about an owl falling out of a tree, I had one more book before I put La Serpiente down and took her sister next door. 

La Serpiente has a box of every single, utterly regressive, snide Little Miss books, and she’d got three of them out. Destroyer was fascinated by them but every time she picked one up, La Serpiente would snatch it. Somehow we managed to get four pages into Little Miss Hug, before Destroyer angrily threw her head back, walloped it on the wardrobe, and began screaming. 

I stopped reading to tend to the wounded. So La Serpiente threw herself on her bed and started screaming as well. I picked up Destroyer and told La Serpiente that her light was going out. “But I don’t like the dark” she wailed. I turned on her turtle night light and Bedtime Bear, and left with Destroyer, certain I’d be soon followed. 

Destroyer embraced her sheep and her pink rabbit Bun Bun, and was asleep in five minutes. La Serpiente fell silent too. I slipped out of the bedroom and texted my wife the all clear. 

And the first time is probably the easiest, as I have the advantage of surprise over the kids. It’s going to be hell in seven weeks’ time, mark my words. 

One response to “Tears before bedtime”

  1. After reading that I think you should start a petition for an International Bloke’s Day. Can’t wait to hear about the fun daddy is going to have at the end of April. If it helps, I have to take Stanley to nursery and pick him up. I also have the duty of getting him off to sleep most nights. Basically he doesn’t protest if he’s had a bottle of milk, I’m playing some electro-chill on Spotify, and telling him about the latest conspiracy. Was quite juicy last night, Wikileaks dumped their Vault 7 CIA files, bigger than Snowden’s leaks, but apparently they only released 1% of the documents. If you have a Samsung TV, get a hammer and smash it to pieces. NOW!

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