Our bedtime routine is not a routine of choice, but a routine forced upon us by children, forgetfulness, exhaustion and conflict avoidance.
1. I Decide I want to go to bed.
2. I then decide I'm too tired and/or comfortable to get off my backside.
3. Have a mental argument with myself featuring going to bed vs staying where I am for the rest of the night.
4. Make a coffee whilst arguing with myself (casually disregarding the fact I have now actually got up and therefore really should go to bed.
5. Fanny around on Facebook several minutes more and play a game of spider solitaire whilst smoking a fag and finishing coffee.
6. Take cup and any other random dirty crockery to the kitchen, rinse and put in dishwasher. Check milk supplies for the inevitable twice nightly visit to Charlie.
7. Make Sam's dinner for the following school day and check all homework and schoolbooks are in correct kids bags for school.
8. Check heating timer is on and switch lights off.
9. In bedroom, check that I have glass of water, mobile phone, TV and Sky remotes in an accessible location.
10. Get into bed with appropriate girly viewing on and lamp off.
11. Finally decide that I should actually go to sleep, around 1-2am, and switch off TV.
12. Realise I need pee.
13. After some deliberation use the bathroom, Get back into bed and begin reheating process.
14. Just begin to fall asleep when Charlie starts crying.
15. Visit and pacify Charlie promising anything from a trip to the zoo to a puppy in order to get him to go back to sleep.
16. Get back into bed and hope that I can fall asleep before Stig comes in and starts snoring.
17. I'm finally asleep. Sam comes in and stands by the edge of the bed staring at me until I wake up, at which point his face is 1.5cms away from mine and I wake to the vision of a giant eyeball.
18. Shit myself and bump heads with Sam, who now forgets his original issue as his head hurts.
19. Grunt instructions to Stig, who is watching equally crap man telly in the adjoining room, to take Sam back to bed.
20. Get into bed, fall asleep for approximately three minutes before Stig enters the bedroom and begins crashing around, switching lights on and off, swearing and bumping into furniture.
21. Threaten him with violence if he doesn't quit demolishing the bedroom, before finally settling down to sleep.
21. Wake half way through a Johnny Depp dream to the sound of Charlie screaming again.
When Stig comes to bed, it's the same every night. It's not the routine he should have, but the one he's settled into because he can't remember a damn thing.
1. Enters bedroom, fully clothed, and sits on bed.
2. Takes shoes off before remembering that I will kill him if I trip over them again.
3. Exits bedroom with shoes to deposit them in the hallway.
4. Returns to bedroom and removes trousers.
5. Exit bedroom, minus pants, to get the glass of water he forgot.
6. Returns with water then takes existing empty water glass from last night back to the kitchen.
7. Enters bathroom for around 5 minutes before returning, naked with an armful of clothes to deposit on the ever growing wash pile in the corner of the bedroom (there isn't enough room in our en suite to wipe your arse, let alone get undressed, I think he was wonderwoman in a former life).
8. Gets into bed and shuffles around whilst gradually confiscating my half of the covers, which are already warm.
9. Two minutes blissful silence before he abruptly yells out into the darkness "OH SHITE-IN-HELL!", untangles himself from his self-made sausage roll and gets out of bed to take his pills.
10. Gets back into bed to find that I have reclaimed my half of the duvet.
11. Sidles over to me in search of warmth and puts his freezing cold feet over mine
12. Returns, disgruntled, to his own side of the bed after some expletive-filled verbal abuse and the odd death threat.