The first time, I am nice. It’s a refill on water.

The second time, I am still nice. It’s blankets that need to be re-tucked.

The third time, I am a little less nice. It’s a trip to the potty. Probably from that water earlier. Blankets re-re-tucked.

The fourth time, I am even less nice. It’s a book – no, four – to page through in bed.

The fifth, sixth, and seventh times, I am noticeably irritated. This is ridiculous. It’s too much. I’m positive that no one else’s kids do this. I’m certain that everyone else’s kids in the world are in bed, long asleep, after stories and snuggles and kisses and absolutely no negotiations over which pajamas to wear or the number of blankets on top of their little bodies or the amount of water in their cups.

The eighth time, I lose it. The monster emerges, snapping and snarling. It uses harsh words and hands that are less than gentle to re-re-re-re-tuck them into bed.

I step into the hall. The monster retreats but the guilt finds me immediately. I’m positive that no one else does this, no other mother. Everyone else on the planet was patient and kind and loving. They used calm tones and soft hands, even if their children did get out of bed two or twelve times.

Read the rest over at the Twin Cities Moms Blog.