Dim the lights. Cue the obnoxious music. Hurry! Grab the TV show host guy with a long, skinny microphone, a cheap suit, totally annoying voice, but kind of good man hair. And a knock on the front door. And….3….2….1….
“We’re live from the suburbs of Overland Park, Kansas to announce that tonight’s “Asshole Bedtime Parent Award” goes to….(drum roll)…..Amelia Ryan. You had some pretty fun and memorable moments with your children throughout the day, right? Right? But, as you approached the bedtime hour, with the brushing of the teeth, and you trying to fold a basket of laundry as they played in it(cue generic crowd laugh track…ha! Ha! Ha!)and all the “nobody’s listening to you” shenanigans, you started to crack. Didn’t you? I mean really crumble. And you just completely broke down in true “Asshole Bedtime Parent” fashion. You lost your patience over some missing library books. Because it’s been a few weeks of Christmas break and they’re due back tomorrow. (Drum roll)Your fuse was short. You took your tiredness out on your poor child who most likely inherited the “lose stuff” gene from YOU. That’s right. You.
You sent your kids to bed. With no reading of books. With no hugs. With no “I love you’s.” You’re a real asshole. And you know it. Congratulations. Sort of.
So, your reward for winning this most non-coveted award is that you get to feel like a complete asshole. For the rest of the quiet night. While your sweet and innocent young children sleep, you get to marinate in the bitter juices of guilt, impatience and your rude tone of voice. Wait, wait. Don’t forget the irrational last things you said right before bed. To your precious children.
You still do have the option of sneaking into their bedrooms to hug them and tell them that you love them and that you’re sorry but, unfortunately, they will most likely not hear you. Because they were tired too. They’re sleeping. So you will need to somewhat relive this feeling in the morning and apologize and hug them before you send them off to school for the day. Another form of punishment, their absence. A daytime marinade of sorts. For you.
BUT, you should be good and ready to NOT be an asshole when they get home from school. Thank goodness that they’re so damn forgiving, and that their enormous little hearts love you so incredibly much. And thankfully, you recognize that you were an asshole. You practically answered the door before I even knocked. But hey, you know what? There’s tomorrow after school and tomorrow night too. You will do better tomorrow, right?
Good night. And oh yeah, you better get to looking for those library books. Remember.”