You know the old saying about the “servant being the master?” Well apparently my masters are very strict about bedtime.
Over Christmas vacation, I was involved in some late-night harmless Mom activity: folding laundry, watching reality TV, and drinking Sprite. My debauchery was interrupted by a harsh voice.
“Mom, you need to go to bed.” I looked up to see my college-age daughter and teenage son looking sternly at me.
“Hi guys.” I chirped brightly. “Grab some towels and start folding.” My attempt at household chore levity was met with sad stares.
“You know how you get when you’re overtired in the morning. “ My daughter spoke with her arms crossed. Her brother came to sit down next to me. Willingly. Without being threatened. I knew something big was up. It turns out it was me.
“You will be very cranky in the morning if you don’t get right into bed.” My son picked up the remote and clicked off the TV.
“Hey that’s an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills I haven’t seen yet! I was making salted caramel pretzels for you two when it was on, so I recorded it…” I pled my case. They remained calm and united.
“You’re acting very tired. And when tie tie babies act tired, they need to go to bed.” My daughter attempted to raise me to my feet using the belt of my bathrobe.
Tie tie baby. How dare they! I had invented the phrase, tie tie babies, for tired tired babies, which these two had been not long ago. It was sheer genius and I probably should have trademarked it. Now, it was being used against me.
“I think you both are acting like tie tie babies. I’m your mother. I’m 51 years old, and am completely capable of deciding when I am ready for bed. I assure you that right now, I am wide awake and bushy-tailed.” I blinked dramatically several times for effect.
My masters laughed indulgently while tidying up my seating area.
“Upstairs. It’s very late and your body won’t know it’s bedtime with all that blue light from the TV confusing your internal clock.” My son spoke in a rational voice despite wearing pirate pajama pants. He picked up my Sprite.
“Hey, I’m not done with that. You guys have it all wrong. This actually isn’t funny. Seriously. I’m getting mad.”
My statement was met with more sad looks and insincere nods.
“Well you can be mad on the way upstairs. You’ll feel so much better once you’re in bed.” My daughter had turned off the family room lights.
I felt myself moving upstairs and I realized:
They had learned from the best.