When it comes to parenting, or kids in general, it seems like everybody's got some golden nugget they just can't wait to pass on to unsuspecting mothers.
It happens in grocery stores. At parks. In the doctor's office. Everywhere I turn I see someone staring me down, eyeing my 3 munchkins...some folks are practically drooling...ready to pounce with a tidbit.
Most often it's the same banal "You've got your hands full" that I've been hearing for 4 years. Yeah, thanks for that.
Occasionally it's to tell me that the kids could be triplets, or that they look nothing alike, or something along those lines. I've learned to smile & agree with whatever is said.
It also seems that everyone's uncle's sister's cousin had a set of twins. Great.
I heard a real gem while at a McDonald's in West Texas near the end of day 1 of our cross-country adventure. An older gentleman walked up to me while the twins were pushing & shoving each other enough to make up for the 18 hours they had been strapped into 5-point harnesses and unable to get their hands on each other and asked with no other intro: "You sure them kids is girls?" Um. No. No, I'm not sure of that at all. Since they have penises.
People are a hoot.
I have gone down a completely different path with this post than I had originally intended and I don't know why. Maybe just because I was looking for a way to squeeze in that story about the old guy at McDonald's.
What I was originally thinking about was the number of times I hear people talk about/read some parenting book discussing bedtime routines. Almost always, a bath is mentioned as a great part of said routine. This has never worked for my boys.
For some strange reason baths have always wound them up. Ever since they were tiny. Bedtime and baths do not go together with my kids.
Every once in a rare while, I think to myself that I've invented this whole idea that I must bathe my children in the morning. That they are wilder than the wildest of the Wild Things if I bathe them in the evening. It can't be true. This whole bedtime bath thing seems to work for everyone else. It worked for my mother, for my mother-in-law. I must just be doing it wrong.
Tonight was one of those nights.
As I listen to the shenanigans going on in the bedroom that I need to go put a stop to. Again. I remember.
I can bathe my children at night if I want to.
I can then also spend then next 2 and a half hours fighting with them to lie down, keep their hands to themselves, be quiet, stay in bed, close their eyes, and generally behave. Tonight I thought I was doing great. They were clean, changed, lying quietly in bed. We turned out the light and I began to read to them. I read over 60 pages of a novel to them. They were silent. Breathing steadily. Angels. Then I got up and left the room. The acrobatics started within minutes. Over an hour later they still aren't really sleeping. In fact, I'm pretty sure I just heard somebody either bounce off the wall or the floor. No tears yet -- it can wait until I finish this post.
Whatever works for your family is great. Mine? We are not bedtime bath takers.