Maybe midnight is a slight exaggeration, but they will stay up as long they can think of excuses to keep those little eyes of their open. They have to get a drink, another trip to the bathroom because the little sip of water was on a fast-track through their bodies, they forgot if they said, "Good-Night", they forgot if they gave everyone a hug, they always have to fight a little bit before falling asleep, but the best excuse for staying up later happened the other night.
They were watching a show with Dad, and were totally involved in whatever it was they were watching. So they asked if they could please stay up until it was over. Dad gave in, but only if they went straight to bed and straight to sleep as soon as it was over.
Nine o'clock rolls around and they quickly get up, say their good nights, and go right to bed. It didn't take five minutes before I heard the commotion of two boys fighting coming from their bedroom. I go in there with a stern look on my face, swing open their door and ask, "What is going on in here?" Corey replies with, "Cameron is reading, so I hit him and told him to go to bed."
Keep in mind their room is dark, with only a faint ray of light from the back porch light coming in through the window next to Cameron's bed. Cameron peaks his head out from under his covers and looks at me with his big brown eyes. I'm already thinking, I can't get on to him as much as I was going to because he IS reading, and reading IS a good thing. Next to me, Corey is consistently reminding me that they were to go straight to bed and straight to sleep, but Cameron decided to read instead. Corey sure was trying to get his brother in trouble.
Here comes the real kicker though. Cameron pulls the book he was reading out from under the covers and he is holding his Bible. He tells me, "I just wanted to read a couple verses before I went to bed." So, any and all punishments flew right out the window right then and there. How do you get mad at that?
I ended up explaining to them, even though reading the Bible is wonderful, they still have to go to bed when we tell them to, and to Corey "You don't hit your brother in the head when he is reading the Bible.”
Have you faced a similar situation where you couldn’t get mad?
Melissa Townley is medical staff coordinator at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville.