It would seem that my pre-mummy, delusional bedtime dream is shared by a primary school in Wisconsin, America. According to a recent article, this school decided to help parents with bedtimes, kindly providing them with a ‘helpful chart’ outlining suggested times on their FB page. It helpfully outlines times for bed (sleep time) in order to wake up at certain times (wake time) ie. If a 6 year old goes to bed at 7:00pm they will wake at 6:45am.

Guessing the school felt it had to act, probably due to a few kids snoring keeping the others awake, someone somewhere in the school decided to dream up a table and fill it with a load of shite of times and label it ‘Bedtime Table’.

I am amazed my kid’s secondary school haven’t jumped on this bandwagon and put up a similar one.  I have it on good authority, from my kids, that ‘everyone’ falls asleep in lessons. Now not wanting to wrongly guess it’s the lesson that sends them to sleep, it’s probably due to not getting enough z’s.

Only the other day whilst in school, my son was having a quick power nap, however he crucially forgot to remove the banned contraband from his mouth, and suddenly woke to his name being shouted causing a choking reaction as he believed the ‘lump’ in his mouth was in fact a fly!  Apparently his relief was immense when he spat it out to find it was in fact his bit of chewing gum.

Anyway I digress, so rather than weep with usual despair at the mere mention of ‘bedtime’ I felt myself having an unusual reaction to this word, it was laughter, reading the table wondering who would actually refer to it, let alone use it!

Over here in England the only FB page we have connected to both my kids schools are for ranting about anything school related sharing important fluffy information, such as recipe ideas for dinner.

The Only In America chart recommends children aged five have 12 hours’ sleep,  I agree and would champion this if anyone was willing to listen at home.

It further advises children aged 12+ need between nine and 10 hours sleep.  I’m assuming that’s for the weekends, in which case mine, are thankfully, getting more than the recommended amount, clearly nailing that bit.  Sadly, however, on school nights it would seem that unless they are all in bed and fast asleep by 9pm, they will not get the required amount of sleep! The chances of this happening probably as likely as me finding out Victoria’s Secret!!

A few parents, the kind that every school has praised the guide, commenting “very true I follow this” calling it “awesome”, adding they were going to show it to their kids if they complained.  Wow they must have really easy to scare kids, I can just imagine the scenario here whilst arguing the toss about bedtimes, I whip out this handy chart and the kids all recoil back to their beds, but hey thats just a scenario, the reality would see them laughing and probably throwing it in the bin, or more realistically the floor space surrounding the bin.

Over on FB the ‘comment here if you are on planet Earth’ remarks such as, “bet there’s not many who live by this table”, lol thanks for the laugh that is hilarious” and my favourite one “this chart was clearly written by someone who doesn’t have kids or doesn’t live in the real world” add a more realistic view to the post.

I don’t know about anyone else, but if you are one of the lucky few whose bedtimes are a non eventful process, then I envy you.  Bedtimes are an eventful occurrence in our house to say the least! however I often wallow in the proud cloud, that if anything, all of mine could go on to become great hostage negotiators.

Having nothing better to do ordering putting our kids to bed is the first step in a long process, with the window of dispute wide open for ooooh at least a couple of hours before it shuts.

A lot of wandering around and sudden urges to chat about their day happens only on the stroke of bedtime, sometimes the wandering is accompanied with a puzzled expression, usually mine, as they don’t have their phone in hand but rather a vague of explanation of looking for something, beyond any description, but crucially adding a few extra minutes to the avoidance of bed.  Luckily for them I am on hand to intervene and assure them I will continue the search for ‘nothing’ once they get to bed!

Not wanting to compare as there is no actual comparison, I have put together a snippet of a typical evening, fighting the bedtime battle, and unfortunately can offer no assurance that it gets better as they get older, our war has been raging on for 16 years, I’ll leave you to work out the chances!

09:00pm Bedtime warning sounds out to deaf ears
Repeat above
Repeat above
Apparently they all heard me the first time
The unfairness of it all debate
The homework he didn’t have is due in tomorrow
Mum you have remembered it’s my school assembly tomorrow?
Has no idea what the homework is & why would he ask the teacher!!! Its easier to ask his mates that don’t know either
Shit what assembly?
Time for a wander the phone needs a walk
Explaining why it’s not easier to go to bed in their uniform
Guidance given on where to wander to
Have I seen their library books due in tomorrow!
Wandering again this time pretending to look for something with added puzzled expression
Kids all finally in bed
Are they asleep? yes they must be they just said they were!
No they are not on their phones, why do I always assume they are?
Shouts out for phone charger for the phone he is not on
 11-11:30pm Desperate for a drink they are dying of thirst x 4
 Incoming text from son who is not on phone with breakfast order
 Do I wanna hear about his day? NOOOOOOO!!!!!
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So after a long & tiring pre-Christmas term of completing homework incorrectly, stuffing school bags, forgetting to pay school trips, under filling lunch boxes, causing headaches, way too many early mornings we were ready for the break!  Ooops sorry this isn’t about us parents, it’s about the kids, it’s always about the kids God love ‘em!

The long term had seen Ciara sitting her mock exams and Keelan just sitting..! Finishing school every day the threat of “I really need to revise” was said with real sincerity but alas all too quickly forgotten after the discovery of Gilmore Girls but she battled on, ever the optimist.

Meanwhile over at Primary school Niall had the embarrassment of wearing an ill-fitting Roman outfit for Roman Day.  Feeling overally smug and worryingly confident,  for not only had I remembered he needed a Roman outfit I had actually ordered it well ahead of time quashing any need for last minute panic runs to Sheets-become-Outfits aka Mum’s.

However, drowning in complacency, it probably wasn’t my best move leaving it until the night before for a fitting, doing that can only end in disaster, such as the wrong size, like Age 5-6 when Niall is 9, and we all know that these dress up outfits are always super small no better what age is says.

Seeing him in all his attire with hat resting on top of head for effect purposes, I managed to hold back on laughing out loud, I told him to look on the bright side, it wasn’t about Kings so he could be the poor homeless Roman boy,  to carry this look off he would need have trousers no longer than his knees, a top that sat nicely above his waistline with the stretched look and sleeves that touched his elbows,  luckily this outfit gave him all that, so convinced and seemingly happy he skipped off to resume device attachment.

Fast forward to January 2017 and Tuesday last week saw the return of the School Morning Battle Cry, only for the eldest two,  the younger two still had another day to magnetise themselves to their devices.  Although, not one to miss an opportunity Niall was up early apparently unable to sleep, apparently it was not for gloating that he didn’t have school.

With the battle cry sounding out from 6.55am the echoes of groans could be heard throughout, soon these groans formed silhouettes of what appeared to be zombies moving in for the kill but I’ve seen the Thriller video and the zombies are that were 100% livelier so I knew it was nothing more than teenage manifestation.

With breakfast over and moaning at an all-time high broken by the shouts of Keelan “Why has my button moved sides on my trousers”?  With a puzzled expression I sent hubbie in for clarification, after deliberation it was discovered that the trousers he had on were not his, they were in fact mine.  The question of what the “hell they were doing in his wardrobe?” rang out “how the hell could you not tell they weren’t yours”? Comeback was overlooked, this was 100% my fault how I could have committed such a trouser sin, now he had to take them off and put another pair…effort!

I quietly pondered the idea if the button had been on the same side would he have actually walked out in my trousers……I would like to think he wouldn’t have,  but then again this is the boy who put on his brothers school trousers once and wondered why they were so short on him!

This little mishap was soon forgotten as the air was filled with screams of Hurry Up, we need to get going, what’s up with him, his attitude is so bad, he gets away with everything and that was just from Ciara, bless her always on hand to chip in.

With no urgency or worry, Keelan announced “I can’t find my school shoes” this sent me into a frantic search, watched closely by Ciara tutting loudly and  Keelan who had the grace to remain calm leaning against the wall checking his phone, occasionally answering “nope”, “no idea” and “how would I know”.

With hubbie on board the search continued, with a sudden lightbulb moment I remembered I had dumped them due to the sole hanging off as did the fact I had not replaced them.  So with great delight Keelan got to wear his trainers for the day, with me reminding him that they were expensive blah blah blah and they had better come home with him, intermittently interrupted by Niall repeatedly telling Keelan to have a “nice day at school”.

Well I can report first week back in and things are going well.  Ciara has had a few of her mock results back and considering she never so much as looked at a revision book she has done well, but is  nervous,  as today is the big day their results come out, and all sealed in an envelope!

Evelena has decided that I will no longer be helping her with her homework as she was so embarrassed when her maths was all wrong, and fair play to her she has kept to her word.  I will not be disputing this any time soon.

Niall not one to break with tradition remembered he had homework last night on the stroke of bedtime, and with no one willing or available to complete it for him, it was down to him to rush his way through it.  After 10 minutes talking a good talk and questioning what my problem was, after all I should be thankful he a) remembered he had it b) and ever so slightly grateful that I didn’t have to do it.  My failing to see this was classed as ‘moody’.  So after researching said requirements he produced an impressive sheet of scribbles, mostly illegible but this was the plan, I see the method in his madness.

Finally what is any new school term without the start of roadworks?  Why would anyone want to carry this out at a convenient time, no its best left until the kids go back that way we can all work on the same timetable.   Turning up before the school bell rings, having a spot of brekkie, a mug of coffee, a quick chat, check phones, pivoting on the spot, staring at nothing or maybe it’s the screaming banshee in the mummy wagon stuck at the red light…that he’s staring at!

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