Marc's job entails a lot of late nights. It's got a lot of flexibility, in that he's able to do pick up and drop off from school and various afterschool activities, and get to the gym occasionally. But it also means that most nights, he's not here for bedtime.
I'm not great at bedtime. On the list of parenting tasks, it's probably got to count as a fail on my part. I don't put my kids to bed, kiss them goodnight and have them fall asleep on their own. I snuggle them to sleep. Jessie, not as much, she's at the point where sometimes she'll happily bop off to bed on her own, but mostly, she likes to fall asleep in my bed and then I haul her up and walk her into her own room. They can, and do, sleep in their own beds, but they like to fall asleep all snuggled up and fun. If I had just one, I could do it in their own beds and then go back to my own. But, as I've got three, I just keep doing it this way and hope that the day doesn't come when I've got a sixteen year old, a thirteen year old and a ten year old all in my bed. Or maybe I do hope that day'll come - I'm a little foggy this morning due to lack of sleep.
So last night... it's all flowing well. We went out for dinner as the special thing that night (this year, we aren't doing a gift every night because that's 24 gifts right off the bat, before we factor in stepdaughters and Christmas) but committed to doing SOMETHING special each night, in addition to lighting the candles). By the time we got home, it was eight thirty, and Jessie still had homework. So I explained long division to her. Again. Sam got himself ready for bed, we lit all the menorahs, and I took Samilicious in to fall asleep in my bed. Jessie finished a card she was making for one of her friends at school and wandered in a little later. Julianna had napped from 3-6 (which I was okay with, because at that point, I thought Marc would be home earlier and he could spend some time with her), so I knew that she'd be up for a while.
Sam fell asleep easily enough, he's far and away my best sleeper. Once he was officially out cold, I hauled him up and tossed him into his bed. His queen bed, because I can't throw him up into the loft bed. Which is an important detail for later. Julie ended up crawling into bed and falling asleep a little earlier than I had anticipated. I fell asleep before Marc came home, with Jessie still in the bed next to me.
Marc apparently decided that he was too tired to be moving children hither and yon, and since Jessie was in my bed, and Sam was in the big bed in his room, his options were to climb up into the loft bed (which is an image that amuses me) or to just crash in Jessie's room. Which would have been FINE, except that Julianna woke up around two thirty. She never wakes up for any length of time, she just fusses a minute, latches on for a bit, and then drifts back to sleep. But it was enough to wake Miss Jess, who got up and toddled her little self into her own bed.
Which is when all hell broke loose. Jessie had no idea her Daddy was in her bed, and just climbed in. When she realized that there was SOMETHING in her bed, she started screaming like she was being attacked. Which in turn freaked Marc out, who had been in a sound sleep, until he suddenly was actually being attacked by an extremely loud and freaked out nine year old. So he also started screaming in terror. Which was funny, now, in retrospect, but last night, I was just irritated. Because I knew instantly what had happened and that it wasn't going to end well. Lo and behold, Jessie came tearing back into my bed, launched herself on top of me and Julie, still sobbing and screaming. Which woke Julie, who had been mostly still dozing, so she was wide awake. Three minutes later, barely enough time to shove Jessie over to the side and get her to mostly stop crying, in wandered my boy. "Why is everyone screaming??" I just shushed him and told him to snuggle back up. "Everyone back to sleep, shhhhh" I kept repeating, until, eventually, everyone did. Except for me. Because when everyone's in bed with me, I can't sleep. I'm trapped, unable to roll over or move or adjust a pillow without waking someone.
So tonight, even if it kills me, I'm staying awake long enough to shove everyone into their own beds.