Do you ever feel that parenting is such a constant challenge that you would rather give in than work so hard to stay constant?

I’m having this dilemma with bedtime.

“Mom, just one more thing…” trails the wee little voice.

And I can only sigh because just one more thing is what she said five things ago.

Like tonight, my kids went to bed listening to music on my IPod. The rule with this treat is they need to stay in bed and not tamper with the alluring music apparatus.

“Mommy! Come he-ah!” I heard from down the hallway. Do I go or do I not go…that was my question. Who is training who?

Successful at swaying me to come to her bedroom door, Maddi was sitting on the edge of her bed, feet dangling off the mattress. 

“What’s the problem?” I asked.

“I don’t like this song and I want to change it,” she explained sincerely worried about her conundrum. “I can’t even get out of bed or Santa will put me on his naughty list!”

And now instead of annoyed, I’m amused. What child concerns herself with Santa’s list when it’s almost June! What a dear, conscientious little girl. Maybe I should let her get out of bed just this once to switch the music. I wouldn’t want her to have a phobia over being naughty or nice. No! That’s where these little ankle-biters get you. They have constant energy, constant ideas, constant cleverness. I must stay one step ahead.

I switch the music to the next song. Maddi lies back down with approval. I’m not sure who won. Maybe we both did. This is what I know–every ounce of effort, trial or error is worth the constant connection I find tucked in the middle of life lived with my kids.

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