8 PM is a magical time in the Cutter house. The children have (usually) been put to bed, and I finally have some time to clean up from dinner, prepare lunches, put some stuff away, and – if the stars align right – maybe even sit and relax for a bit.
I’m well aware that such peace is fleeting. Eventually, that tranquility will be disturbed by the cries of one or both of the twins. Here is a breakdown of my reaction upon hearing their post-bedtime cries, based on the time when it first happens.
Note: It’s usually much better if the Cutlass is the one who is crying. Cujo is better at sleeping through things, and he can usually be convinced to go back to sleep. On the other hand, the Cutlass is a bit of a FOMO child. If something is happening to her brother, she does not want to be left out.
8 PM – 10 PM – They’re crying. That’s not good. Do they to be soothed or something? Fine. Let’s do some soothing. There. Happy? Good. Now I don’t want to hear from you again until early in the morning.
10 – 11 PM – Kids, whatever your issue is, get it out of your system now.
11 PM – 12 AM – Damn it, I had just fallen asleep!
12 – 5 AM – What? What’s going on? Those cries weren’t just in my dreams? One of the twins is really crying. (Checks clock.) Ugh, it’s the middle of the night!
Okay, maybe this isn’t so bad. Maybe they’ll quiet down on their own, and I’ll be able to get back to sleep. (Waits an undetermined period of time.) Grrrr….Fine. (Gets up, gives crying child a pacifier and attempts to go back to sleep.)
5 – 5:30 AM – Oh crap. This is early. WAY too early. Dear God, I don’t ask for much. But I am asking you now to please make these children go back to sleep and stay asleep for at least another hour.
5:30 – 6 AM – Please go back to sleep! Please go back to sleep! Please go back to sleep!
6 – 6:30 AM – There’s no chance they’re going to back to sleep, is there? Can I at least hope that this doesn’t put them in a bad mood all morning?
Maybe I can at least get them to quiet down by myself and let Mrs. Cutter sleep. It’s bad enough with cranky babies, but a cranky wife? Game over.
6:30 – 7 AM – Okay, this is early, but not too early. Sure, I won’t be able to get much done in the morning, but I got most of a good night’s sleep, and they shouldn’t be too cranky.
7 – 7:15 AM – That was a good effort kids! Mommy and Daddy were able to get ready, and everyone should be in a fine mood. Well done!
7:15 – 7:30 AM – Look at how much I’ve gotten accomplished this morning! Lunches are packed! The kitchen has been cleaned! I even had breakfast! Parenting isn’t so bad!
7:30 – 8:00 AM – Um, are they okay? Maybe I should check to see if they’re breathing? Oh, wait, that’s them. Never mind.
8:00-8:30 AM – Are they sick? They’ve got to be sick. Damn it, we don’t need anyone getting sick again!
8:30 AM – I’ll let you know if it ever happens.