Friday, April 30, 2010


The Matron had one.

Earlier this week, John threw up his hands and declared bedtime a bad deal.

"I'm done with this."

He was referring specifically to the seven year old's two hour ritual: snack, reading, teeth. Then there's the hour and a half of 'checking' and, unfortunately, snuggling. Not that snuggling isn't good but shouldn't five minutes suffice? Then He Who Cannot Be Named is up until 11, doing 'stuff.' Scarlett is now home from the theater but is still on that late night schedule. She thinks she should be in a bar at midnight, winding down from a show.

The meltdown? Because for the past DECADE the Matron has been declaring bedtime a bad deal. Way too much intensive interface with youth. Too many midnight theater dates. Too many late night conversations. Too many back rubs and what-nots that continue until 11 pm. That's right folks -- 11 pm. And that doesn't include the theater drives.

But when the man in the house -- as much as she loves him, and she does -- notices a problem after TEN YEARS, suddenly the culture changes. Last night was much different.

Now, the Matron has a doctorate in English and, ahem, Feminist Studies. But guess who wipes the toilets every morning? Um . . think, think, think. Her!

So the irony of the instant change in the family rules isn't lost on her, even as she's hopeful the marathon will turn into a sprint.


Ulrike said...

Ah, Mary, the irony is not lost on me and I feel for you, meltdown and all.

Feminist studies in my BA. Check.
Clean the toilets each morning. Check.

smalltownmom said...

Oh, I've been there, done that. You have my sympathies.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Sometimes it just takes a dad to crack the whip effectively, and no amount of reading Betty Friedan will change that.

Myself? I love dumping that sort of discipline problem in my spouse's lap while I recline on my imaginary fainting couch. Feigned helplessness, ladies, that's where it's at. Why do you think we're still cleaning the bathrooms? Have you ever seen a guy look more pathetically helpless than when he is pretending to use the toilet brush?

Hay said...

We don't do bed times, but sometimes either I or the hubs demand everyone have an early night, just so we can breathe!

kcinnova said...

I try so hard to not clean the toilets (esp. the boys' very own in the hall bathroom)... but sometimes the smell reaches out and gags me.
They never notice.

I love it when my husband lays down the law. Unless, of course, he is reacting to my copious blogging time.

SC, you cracked me up. And reminded me to stick a toilet brush in my menfolks' hands.

MidLifeMama said... all seem to have cleaner toilets than I. Must consider I might be lacking in the house cleaning department. Husband #2 is much more responsive to things that I pronounce to be unacceptable than husband #1 was, which might explain why there is a #2. Dealing with #1 entailed planting a seed, letting it germinate and then saying "YES, that IS a fabulous idea" when he would suddenly come up with the brain storm idea that was mine to begin with.

And if I had t deal with your bedtime routine I would be dead. I am not even conscious at 11pm.

JCK said...

Change is good. Best if we could all get rid of the toilet cleaning. Perhaps self-cleaning toilets?

MJ said...

Let's hope the law by John remains enforced! I thought bedtimes by 8:45ish was unreasonable! I can't fathom 11 or later!!

Daisy said...

Oh, the irony. Our men, who do not believe our assessments of situations until they experience them firsthand. Growl.

Saucy said...

As they get older, the bedtime becomes more ambiguous no matter how desperately you try to hold on to some semblance of order. Your sanity, however, may never return. You may have to... release. Or just go to bed yourself.

Sweet dreams.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm laughing because while it's not bedtime, per se, we have our similar "meltdowns" and you describe it so well!

FlourGirl said...

Baby steps, Matron. He'll get there eventually. After all, we can't expect them to be US. ;)