Do you remember those lovely long evenings when the kids were young and in bed and you could relax in front of the TV for a couple of hours? Yep me too, and when I moved back here I bought a new set in anticipation. It got used regularly for about twelve months. Then we hit the "terrible" tweens, which turned out to be rather odd in this family.
Bedtime became a chore, and I would be furiously clock watching until I could return to the living room for some 'me' time. I'd be grinding my teeth in frustration at missing the start of yet another much anticipated programme, and sometimes the end of it too. The need for 'me time' led to late nights on twitter, trying to load the dishwasher and prop my eyelids open at the same time and then cursing the alarm clock in disbelief when it shattered my short sleep at a stupidly early hour the next morning. Of course it was a recipe for bone shattering fatigue and stress.
And then one day I realised that it just wasn't worth it.
I accepted that my children were only going to change their bedtime habits when they were ready. So the only thing that I could do was to change mine.
I gave up. No more telly during the week. No more late nights cleaning the kitchen. At least not while I still need to get children up early in the morning. Deciding that I couldn't do it all any more was actually a relief.
So then what?
How should I pass the evenings spent sitting, waiting, supervising, and being a reassuring presence. I need to be quiet but not bored. Even turning the pages of books can prevent the onset of sleep, so a Tablet it is then.
I used to look at Facebook, but that is not working so well for me these days, of which more in an upcoming post. Then I began using the Kindle App. I still do, but sometimes I don't feel like reading. My introduction to tablet tv began with the discovery of a very old series on YouTube. I was hooked. So now most evenings you will see me heading out of the kitchen with a child in tow and clutching my tablet and headphones. It really does make the time pass more quickly. And if I ever run out of things to watch, my on-line friends are always quick with new recommendations.
So there you have it, my latest bedtime guilty pleasure: a mug of Horlicks and Netflix. And I look forward to it all day....