Darn Tootin' · Homeschool · Keepin' it real · Montessori · parenting · waxing philosophical

Day 657: Don’t Fight It

“The kids begged me for more algebra sheets.”

Eyebrows raised, I just looked at Mr. December.

“Sorry, honey. I know I said you could have the morning for your subjects after a quick math drill… but they begged me. Seriously.”


“Eema,” E said earnestly, “Can I forget about my other work and just finish my cursive writing book? There are only fourteen pages left and I think I can do it!”

Of course I said yes. Why wouldn’t I?


Remember when I bought some highly structured curricula and decided we’d follow those lesson plans? Well, we’ve ditched the older kids’ history curriculum and I’m picking and choosing from the biology curriculum. Most importantly, I’m not fighting about schoolwork. I have some firm boundaries—the subjects aren’t optional, but how and when we do them is open for negotiation.

Take E, for example. She worked intently on her cursive writing for two hours this morning. I could have told her “let’s stop here and do something else,” but why would I do that? When a child is motivated and focused, why on earth would I go and break that focus? To enforce some abstract ideal of “balanced” subjects? Or to assert my power by imposing the schedule that I gave them on Monday?

It’s definitely easy to be flexible when the child is eager to learn and work on an area that interests them; less so when the child doesn’t want to do any work at all. Yesterday N didn’t do his writing or his Hebrew, and today he was still reluctant to do the assignments I’d given him. We compromised: he wrote about a topic of his choice, in the structure of my choice. I’ve decided to go for quantity over quality with him, on the theory that he needs to be able to get his ideas down on paper quickly; editing can be done later and with the assistance of someone else.

I’m also trying to remember the purpose behind the assignments I give. The writing assignment I originally gave all three big kids was to take a picture from our trip and write about it. Part of my goal with that assignment was for them to recall things they saw and learned during our travels. I think with N that’s not so essential, not because he doesn’t need to remember what we learned, but because I’m certain he already does. The kid soaks in everything and makes connections to what he already knows. Why should I belabour the point?

R’s writing assignment evolved differently, too: she’s writing a fictional story based on a series of photos from our volcano hike. I agreed to this on two grounds—first, that she’s in Grade Five and maybe doesn’t need to spend quite so much time on essay-writing; and second, that she’s a strong writer who really wants to hone her craft. Why fight her natural inclination?

I feel validated by this week’s experience with K and viola practice. Since Monday, she has worked diligently every day to learn a new piece. She does scales and practices trouble spots ten times in a row, all without complaint—in fact, she was eager to do it. I tried forcing her to practice for years. Years. Is her diligent practice now a result of my dogged persistence? No. No way. She’s practicing because she wants to play viola better.

That’s why I’m not being especially forceful with E and her flute practice. I’m not letting her give up flute, but I’m also not insisting on serious practice right now. It’s not worth the fight; when she’s a bit more mature and wants to play better, we won’t have to fight about it anyway. Right now my goal is to keep her immersed in music, have instruments available to explore, and try to keep it light and enjoyable. If she’s naturally drawn to it (I personally think she is,) she’ll play music no matter what I do.

This all feels very Montessori. Long periods where the child can do work of their choice? Check. Having all the resources available, introducing the child to the work and then allowing them to do it in their own time? Check. Stepping back and watching the child’s innate drive to learn? Check.

A happier homeschool environment and a more relaxed mom? Check and check.

Costa Rica · family fun · Keepin' it real · Kids · parenting · Travelogue · Worldschooling

Day 600: Zippity

When she was about two years old, E had a very bad bout of croup. It was so bad that we weren’t asked to wait or to register—they took us straight from triage into the “real emergency” section of the unit. She’d had a dose of oral steroids, but it wasn’t enough; they put her on inhaled epinephrine. I had to hold the mask over her face for ten minutes (it felt much, much longer.)

She hated the mask. She squirmed and pushed it away, screaming, “NO! EEMA!!!! NO! I DON’T WANT TO! EEMA, STOP! PLEASE STOP!”

Fighting her tiny fists and holding the mask to her face as she screamed and begged me to stop was harrowing. She didn’t understand why I wasn’t respecting her “no.” She looked at me as if I had betrayed her rather than possibly saved her life. If I never again had to force her to do something against her will, it would be too soon.


“No! I don’t WANT TO! NO!!! I’M NOT GOING!!!” E screamed through her tears, her gloved hands clutching at the thick steel cables while two guides and I tried to pry her hands open.

Everyone else had already left the platform and ziplined across the 60-foot distance to the next tree. It was just me, E, and two guides; we were losing patience and E wasn’t calming down. I was faced with a dilemma: violate E’s sense of bodily autonomy and essentially push her off the platform (attached to an adult, of course,) or respect her wishes, help her climb back down the tower, and miss the whole zipline tour.

I was not willing to miss the tour. So after five minutes of her screaming and me trying to reason with E, I nodded to the guide who picked her up and took her across the zipline in his arms (and in her harness, of course.) When I got to the other side E was still screaming and we had a repeat performance of the struggle. Of course, now it would be difficult to turn back. This time I held E in my arms and a guide zipped across with both of us, E screaming the whole way.

The third zipline started the same way, but as we emerged from between some trees, the rainforest canopy was spread out before us; the air was misty. “Look, E! Look! We’re flying in a cloud!”

She stopped screaming and looked.

At the fourth platform, right before we stepped off, I said to E, “Know what song this reminds me of?” I sang to her as we zipped along:

“I was ten years old and bulletproof
There wasn’t nothin’ on earth I couldn’t do
Me and my buddies on a big rock ledge
Every knee knockin’, lookin’ over the edge
They dared me to jump to the creek below
The last word they heard was—

“GERONIMO!!!!!” E and I yelled in unison as we flew toward the fifth platform.

There was no more screaming after that. Instead, E and I sang every verse of “Crazy Enough” by Bobby Wills.

By the fifteenth zip line, E was already talking about “next time we go ziplining.”

We all encouraged E, saying over and over again how proud we were of her facing her fears and ziplining anyway. Of course, the truth is that she didn’t choose to face her fears—we made that choice for her when we forced her to endure the zipline, like it or not. But sometimes life’s like that, isn’t it? Sometimes we can’t take the first steps ourselves: we have to close our eyes and ask others to push us.

Towards the end of the course was an optional “Tarzan swing.” With your harness clipped into two bungee ropes, you jump off a platform thirty feet in the air and swing back and forth like a human pendulum. K and R were very eager to do it. I wasn’t keen on it, but I decided to show E that sometimes grownups are scared to do things, too, and that fear can be overcome for a few short seconds.

R went first and loved it. K went second and was thrilled. R came up and went again. Then N came up and said he wanted to try it. The guide got him all hooked up, but when the gate was opened and it was time to jump, N backed out. I tried to strike a deal: if he didn’t chicken out, I wouldn’t either. Alas, no deal.

And so it was my turn. I got harnessed up and clipped in; the gate was opened. I clutched the rope, looked down, and said, “Holy shit. No. No way.” Mr. December and all the kids were at the bottom, cheering me on. The guide reminded me that I wanted to do this for E, and also to keep my promise not to back out. I had to do it. I looked at the guard and told him to give me a push.

He pushed. I fell. “AAAAAAAGHHHHHH! I’M GOING TO DIE! MAKE IT STOP!” I screamed for the first two full swings, at which point I’d slowed down enough to not feel like I was freefalling. The swinging itself wasn’t too scary, and I tried to enjoy myself, but I was very glad to be on the ground again. E found the whole thing highly entertaining; so did everyone else.

Afterward, at lunch, E talked about how she wanted to zipline again.

“E, can you forgive me for forcing you to do the first three ziplines?” I asked. “You ended up loving it, after all.”

“I did love it, but I don’t forgive you,” she said calmly.

“Fair enough,” I said, “I’ll ask you again next Yom Kippur.”

family fun · Homeschool · Independence · Keepin' it real · Kids · parenting

Day 572: She’s so High

We went to our homeschool meetup in the park this afternoon (K, who still feels ill, stayed home.) R was so reluctant to go that she extracted a promise from me to bring along a board game and play it with her; N took along his Pokémon cards; E was very excited to see her friends again.

I was actually kind of looking forward to playing a game with R, but as soon as we got to the park she ran off to see what the other kids were doing (hunting for crickets or grasshoppers, apparently.) She abandoned me! I had to actually sit down and talk to other adults.

(Kidding. My mantra, which you’ve probably heard before, is “You’re the kid, and your job is to play with other kids; I’m the mom, and my job is to talk with other parents.”)

As I conversed with a new member of the group, another parent came to me. “The girls really want you to see how far they’ve climbed,” she said, and led me over to a tall pine tree.

“Hi Eema!” I heard, and looked up into the branches. R was sitting in the tree, but where was E?

“I’m up here, Eema! And I want to climb higher!” E called down.

She clambered up to the top of the tree—effortlessly, it seemed—while I tried to figure out when I could politely excuse myself. Not because I wasn’t proud of her, or because I really needed to get back to my conversation, but because every fibre of my being wanted to yell, “Great! Now please come down!”

It’s a reaction that’s at odds with everything I believe in: I want my kids’ childhood to involve hanging out in the trees. Truly, very few things make me happier than seeing kids get muddy, dirty, and scratched up while enjoying nature and playing with dangerous things like pointy sticks; but when it comes to things that have the potential for real danger, like hiking near deep crevasses and climbing a cliff with no harness, I can’t watch. What I really want is for the kids to do the thing and then tell me all about it and show me pictures… after I know they’re okay.

I don’t need the anxiety, and they don’t need my fears to cloud their own judgment of their abilities. So I generally tell them how awesome what they’re doing is, and then politely remove myself from the immediate area… except when I stay and watch because “I might need to describe this to the ER doctors later.”

Keepin' it real · Kids · lists · parenting · snarky · well *I* think it's funny...

Day 561: I wanted to say…

We were at the supermarket checkout packing up our groceries. I was showing the kids how to bag items so that nothing gets squashed (“Guys, if you stack all the plastic clamshells from largest to smallest, you have a stack that won’t fall over and nothing will open accidentally.”) Suddenly, I heard a man’s voice behind us:

“Hey, guys? Just remember that you’re not the only people in the world, okay? Other people need to check out, too.”

When none of us even acknowledged his statement, he upped the ante: “Yeah, and that was the NICE WAY TO SAY IT!!!”

Here are the things I didn’t say to him (in no particular order):

  • “WHAAAAA?!?”
  • “Neither are you.” (the only people in the world, that is)
  • “Oh! Your Majesty! I’m so sorry—I would never want to obstruct the royal procession! Please forgive your humble subjects!”
  • “(gasp!) You mean…” I’d look around furtively, then whisper, “there are others?
  • “Oh, go love yourself.” (à la Justin Bieber)
  • “I’m trying to teach my children to be patient, and you’re setting a really bad example right now.”
  • “There are other people in the world, but no other checkout lines you could have used? How peculiar.”
  • “OMG, you sound just like my grade ten math teacher! Yeah…he was a jerk too.”
  • “I just upped my meds, so up yours.”

And my personal favourite:

  • “Damn! You distracted me and I did this bag all wrong! Now I’ll have to unpack it and start all over again!”

What did I say instead? Nothing at all. I kept my cool, ignored him, and went on with my day.

Holidays Jewish and holidays not. · Jewy goodness · Keepin' it real · parenting

Day 558: Shul is Sweet

Today was Simchat Torah. I decided last week that we would cancel school for the day and go to synagogue in the morning. In other words, the kids knew, although apparently the warning wasn’t enough to ward off the whining.

“I don’t wanna go. Why do I have to?”

“Can I take a book?”

“Do I really have to go?”

Sometimes I wonder: do they really have to go? What are they getting out of it if they bring a book from home and read it while sitting and standing as required?

My best guess—and hope—is that they’re getting exposure. They’re feeling comfortable in the space; they’re hearing the words and traditional melodies of the prayers; they’re vaguely aware of the structure of the service. In other words, they’re getting comfortable with being in synagogue.

Today, in addition to getting comfortable in shul, they also got candy. So much candy.

I responded to the whining with, “You know, I’m so excited that this dress has pockets. Now I can hold Skittles in it to snack on at shul!”

They ran for their shoes.

I felt guilty for bribing them with sweets for about one minute before reminding myself that there’s a long Jewish tradition of this very thing: putting honey on a child’s first Hebrew book is the one that gets a lot of press, but also the occasional elderly congregant who kept candy on them just to give to kids at shul (“Don’t take candy from strangers,” I tell my kids, “unless they’re familiar people from shul and I’m there with you.”)

So there I was, standing for the prayers and dancing with the Torah with one or more children digging through my pockets for stray Skittles. At the end of the service—surprise!—someone handed out full-sized Dairy Milk bars, saying something about it being a South African tradition to give out chocolate to celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah (one of the Torah readers today was a woman—South African, of course—celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of her Bat Mitzvah.) The kids went home happy.

On the walk home we ran into a friend who said, “Come to the dinosaur park at 2:30. There’s going to be a magic show and a parade with the Torah.” Three out of four of my kids are too old and too cool for that sort of thing, but E was enthusiastic; so we went.

There were two magic shows, as a matter of fact: the first one at the dinosaur park, followed by a Torah parade and candy for the children (E got a ring pop, which is her favourite,) and then a walk together all the way to a second park where a different magician gave a show, followed by a Torah parade and—yup, you guessed it—candy for the children. This time it was a treat bag containing chips, lollipops, and some kind of fruit leather.

To E’s credit, she didn’t rub it in her siblings’ faces when we got home with her bag of loot. She did say, “You guys missed a great show and I got a whole bag of candy!”. Then she proceeded to share everything in her bag.

As usual, I’m conflicted about all this candy. On the one hand the kids (and E in particular) have a positive (dare I say “sweet”?) association with shul; on the other hand, nobody needs this much candy… I’d better get Mr. December help me dispose of the rest, right? It’s for their own good, after all.

Just the two of us · Keepin' it real · parenting · Renovation · whine and cheese

Day 557: Who needs it? I do.

I never understood the point of huge “master suites” in otherwise normal houses. Toronto real estate is expensive; why would you waste so much of it on a sitting area when you already have a living room and a family room, and maybe a rec room? Mr. December agreed with me, so when we designed our house we made our bedroom big enough for a king-size bed and some bedside tables. When she suggested that it was too small, our architect was outvoted.

For the most part, I’ve been happy with our decision: the bedroom does what we need it to do, our bathroom is the right size for the way we use it, and we’ve got plenty of storage in our closet. Sometimes, though, I start to wish I’d designed a whole big suite just for the two of us.

I didn’t feel the need for so much private space when the kids were little (probably because they went to bed long before us and I had time and space to myself anywhere I wanted it.) These days, however, there’s always someone awake until I go to bed, and the same kids who mostly ignore me during the day always need to talk to me after bedtime.

Mr. December just came out of someone’s room and asked if we could maybe go to sleep earlier tonight. Instead of a very reasonable, “Sure, I’m just finishing up my blog post,” I unleashed my exasperation on him: “Oh my God, seriously, can everybody just stop talking to me for, like, five minutes so I can finish a sentence?!?!?”

It’s becoming very clear that I need an office with a door. Or a giant suite to which I can retreat at nine p.m. after proclaiming that I’m done for the night. Until then I’ll be right here, practicing my relaxation techniques so my cortisol level doesn’t spike every time I hear someone talking to me after bedtime.

Homeschool · Kids · parenting

Day 553: New Students

I firmly believe that little to no good comes of power struggles. If the parent wins, then the child is still resentful; if the child wins, the parent’s (often reasonable) goal doesn’t get met. I’d much rather work with the kids than against them, no matter how I personally feel about their position.

Whenever we ask E to do something learning-related there’s a greater than 50/50 chance she’ll refuse. Sometimes she resists by standing her ground—literally—and stamping her feet; sometimes she cries; sometimes she acts silly and starts doing things like hanging upside down from the hammock. Today, hoping to avoid the usual standoff, I tried something new:

“E, do your stuffies know how to read? I don’t really know much about whether they went to school.” I asked casually.

“Bubbles can read,” she mused, “and the others know a little but they’re not very good.”

“Do you think they’d like to learn?” I inquired. “We could teach them. Why don’t you ask them if they’d like to join the Grade One class for reading today?”

“GOOD IDEA!” She enthused, and ran off to set up the “classroom.”

For someone who’s not usually interested in playing pretend, I certainly had fun teaching a class full of stuffed animals. E was really more of a teaching assistant than a student today—she helped the stuffies raise their hands, come to the board, and give the answers. We covered an entire (relatively long) lesson of All About Reading, including the lumberjack game where you have to chop words into two separate syllables; we had no complaining and zero goofing off.

That’s not to say there weren’t some elaborate pretend scenarios: Hearts wouldn’t come up to the board without Softie, her twin. Summer was a bit too shy to speak, so she authorized Bubbles to answer for her. By and large, though, all of my plush students sat quietly at their desks until it was their turn to answer.

E “helping” her plush classmates learn to read.

E is a smart kid: she knows that it’s her, and not the animals, reading the words and answering questions. But still, she’s far more engaged when her stuffies join the class. It worked so well, I think I’ll be inviting Bubbles, Hearts, Softie, Tundra, Snow, and Summer to join our class permanently.

Kids · parenting · waxing philosophical · what's cookin'

Day 552: I’m Obsolete.

It’s been said that as parents, our job is to bring about our own obsolescence. In other words, we need to raise our kids so that they no longer need constant support and guidance from us. If you’ve been reading this blog for more than three weeks, you already know that I heartily agree with this statement. Why, then, am I slightly miffed that I’m becoming obsolete more quickly than I expected?

I always assumed that I’d become obsolete (as a parent) because my children had learned to take care of themselves. It never occurred to me that they’d begin to take care of each other so well as to make me feel superfluous; and yet, that day has come.

I made muffins with E tonight. After sliding the pan into the oven, I turned to E and told her to go take a bath. She went; I stayed in the kitchen to finish cleaning up.

Fast forward twenty minutes: R walked into the kitchen and said (in that uber-mature way she has,) “I taught E how to bathe herself. She didn’t know how, but I think it’s time she knew how to do it. Today I showed her how, so next time she takes a bath I’ll be there. Not to do it for her, but so she can ask me for help if she still needs it.”

Wow. Okay. I high-fived R and said, “That’s some serious initiative you’ve taken. Good on you.”

Freshly washed, with hair braided, dressed in clean pyjamas, E walked into the kitchen to check on the status of our muffins.

“Wow,” I said to R. “Did you braid E’s hair, too?”

She nodded. “Yup! I told her she has to sleep with her hair braided from now on so it doesn’t get all tangled at night. Either that or she should just cut it so it’s easier to keep untangled.”

(Readers, I have told E the very same thing on many occasions. Never has she nodded and agreed the way she did with R.)

After our muffin break, I nudged E and said, “Go brush your teeth, and I’ll come and tuck you in.”

“Actually,” she said, “R is going to read me a story and tuck me in.”

R looked straight at me and said, “I’m replacing you.”

“Really?” I exclaimed, wide-eyed, “Are you going to organize all her doctor and dentist appointments? Go to her speech therapy sessions and help her practice? Make sure she has clothes and shoes that fit her?”

“Um… no.” R said. “But all of the other mom stuff, yeah.”

I’m not sure how to feel about this. Is R jumping into what social workers would call a “parentified role” because she thinks I’m doing a crappy job? I’m mature enough to know that not everything is about me, but how can I not wonder if it’s about me?

You’ve likely heard someone say, “In big families, the older kids raise the younger ones.” Usually this is said in a highly critical tone, as though it’s terrible for the parents to foist that responsibility on their children. Is it really a bad thing, though? Is it bad for kids to care for others around them? To understand that all humans take a role in raising the tribe’s young? How exactly is R harmed by being allowed to voluntarily take care of her younger sister—who would much rather take hygiene advice from her sister than from her parents, don’t you know?

When R announced herself as my replacement tonight, I saw learning and growth in action. She obviously understands, for example, the steps required to teach someone a skill (first, explain while you demonstrate, then be present but step back and let the learner try on their own.) She took pride in her ability to take care of E; E enjoyed being the focus of her big sister’s attention; and their bond got incrementally stronger from the encounter. I think it’s safe for me to silence my inner judgy voice that accuses me of abdicating responsibility, and instead pat myself on the back for raising a kid who is a leader, willing to step up and help wherever she sees a need.

diet recovery · Jewy goodness · parenting

Day 544: Yom Kippur

I’ve been reading Honey From the Rock, which is essentially an introduction to Jewish Mysticism, ever since my screen-free Rosh Hashana ten days ago. The very first section touched on my absolute favourite biblical analogy: the wilderness after the Exodus from slavery.

The story goes like this: after being freed from bondage in Egypt, the Children of Israel wandered the desert. They complained a lot. A LOT. They wanted to return to Egypt, where they had meat and onions to eat instead of manna all the time (they seem to have had a pretty short memory when it came to the brutally hard labour and the killing of their babies.) They were pretty insecure when it came to God, too—and as soon as Moses was absent for a bit longer than expected, they went back to the idolatry they’d become familiar with in Egypt. They couldn’t conceive of a God with no physical representation. As a consequence, nobody who had been alive during the Exodus was allowed to enter the Promised Land. They were all fated to die in the desert.

This resonates with me on so many levels. I feel like I’m in a wilderness of sorts these days, having escaped from the oppression of diet culture. Like the Israelites, I’m not really sure what to do now. I’m so confused about what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, how to live without constantly thinking about my weight and appearance. I don’t know what a life outside of diet culture looks or feels like. I often feel like it would be easier and simpler to return to diet culture, where at least I know what I’m supposed to be doing.

It might actually be easier for me to just go back to the endless cycle of dieting; it’s scary out here in the wilderness, where anything can happen. It’s wide open and full of possibility, but let’s face it—not all possibilities are good ones. More importantly, I don’t want my children to grow up surrounded on all sides by diet culture. I might die (not now, eventually) still wandering this wilderness without a clue, but my children will have a chance at a life that I can’t even imagine, where their bodies are valued for how they feel and what they can do instead of for how small they can become. To paraphrase Max Planck, body acceptance will progress one funeral at a time.

Going into the Yom Kippur fast tonight, I’ll be reflecting on how I intend to strengthen my resolve, stay the course, and explore this wilderness in which I find myself.

To everyone who is observing Yom Kippur (in whatever way you observe: not everyone can or should fast) I wish a Gmar Chatimah Tovah—may we all be written and sealed in the Book of Life this year.

blogging · Keepin' it real · Kids · parenting · whine and cheese

Day 542: #NotAllBedtimes

Some parents love bedtime: “It’s such a cozy, quiet time of day,” they gush. “We read stories and sing songs and snuggle.” Sounds nice, but that description doesn’t really capture what bedtime is like in our house. Right at the point where I’m finally craving some alone time, the kids—egged on by Mr. December—engage in all kinds of shenanigans.

As I type this, N is talking endlessly about his new Pokémon cards. It’s an assault on my ears and brain and I can’t focus on writing my blog post. “STOP TALKING AND GO TO SLEEP!” I call up the stairs.

Oh, look: here comes Mr. December, staggering out of the kids’ rooms with his shirt untucked and his hair disheveled. He looks pitiful, but I have zero pity for him.

Five minutes ago I got a FaceTime call from him. When I answered, R’s face filled the screen for a moment… and then suddenly morphed into a cow face, an octopus, and back to a cow. She giggled uncontrollably but said nothing intelligible. Then I saw another call come in, this time from R’s phone.

“Please stop,” I said, tapping decline on the new call.

She didn’t stop. She rang again. I declined. She rang, I declined. Ring. Decline. Ring. Decline. Ring. Decline. Ri—slide to power off. I hung up on her. The entire time Mr. December could be heard in the background, alternately laughing and protesting while the kids jumped all over him.

This is what passes for bedtime in our house. I hate it—which is why I generally opt out. My rules for bedtime are as follows:

  1. I don’t tuck you in unless you’ve changed into clean clothes (or pyjamas) and brushed your teeth properly.
  2. I’m happy to hug and snuggle, but do NOT try to grab at me when I finally tell you it’s time to sleep. Grabbing hurts.
  3. You get one tuck in. That’s it, just one. I am not going to tuck you in repeatedly if you keep popping out of bed.

In contrast, Mr. December’s rules of bedtime seem to be:

  1. Have lots of rowdy fun so that the kids get worn out and exhausted.
  2. Someone must pretend to be at least three different kinds of barnyard animal.
  3. If the kids aren’t laughing hysterically, he’s doing it wrong

I used to resent having to be the Bad Cop who stomps into the room and orders everyone to sleep right now… I mean it… DON’T MAKE ME COME IN THERE. But now I just resent the fact that bedtime takes forty minutes, leaving me with very little grownup time at the end of the day. Believe it or not, I do need time to decompress after a full day of parenting.

“Is it really 9:40?” Mr. December asked twenty minutes ago. “That bedtime took way too long!”

“NO KIDDING!” I tried to deadpan. It came out more like a yell than anything else, though.

“You seem upset,” he said mildly as he jogged down the stairs to his office.

I hate bedtime.