Bedtime is Bedtime

Maddie and Katie are good kids.  They (usually) follow the rules, and they (usually) do as they are told.  They (always) have kind hearts.  Maddie is extraordinarily good.  Whereas Katie is equal parts of sweetness and sass, Maddie has very little sass.  As a matter of fact, my friends frequently joke about Maddie’s halo.  She’s that good.  So, you can imagine my surprise when Maddie broke a golden rule in our house: Bedtime is bedtime.  (No getting out of bed, no silly business, lights out, night-night, see you in the morning.)

I should have been suspicious when I started finding books in Maddie’s bed on some mornings.  Every now and again, I’d lift up a pillow in order to tuck in the sheet and a book would fall out.

I should have been suspicious when Maddie fell in love with Babymouse.  Here is a video I took the other day of Maddie walking to the car:

Untitled from Dana Murphy on Vimeo.

I should have been suspicious when Maddie told us over breakfast one morning, “I stayed up all night last night.”

I should have been suspicious, but I wasn’t.

Instead I was caught off guard the other evening when I went into Maddie’s bedroom long after we had said goodnight.  Like I said, we have a rule in our house that bedtime is bedtime.  (No getting out bed, no silly business, lights out, night-night, see you in the morning.)  I quietly opened her door for fear that I might wake her.  And that’s when I found her… reading.

Maddie had propped her Pillow Pet Dream Light against her headboard, and she was using the scant light to illuminate the pages of Babymouse: Our Hero.  The book was open, and there was Maddie, lost between its pages.  She startled when she saw my shadow on the wall.  “Oh.  Hi, Mommy.  Um, I’m reading,” she explained sheepishly.  “This is what I do at night after you put me to bed.  I read.”

Turns out Maddie doesn’t always follow the rules.

(And I couldn’t be prouder.)

8th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Join at Two Writing Teachers.

8th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Join at Two Writing Teachers.


26 thoughts on “Bedtime is Bedtime

  1. OMG – this brings back memories. I used to HIDE under the blankets and read with a flashlight. I don’t know who I thought I was fooling. My sister BRIBED me to make her bed for years so she wouldn’t tell on me!

  2. Thanks for the great slice. Another flashlight/booklight warrior, I too am addicted to “after-bedtime” reading and welcome Maddie to the club! Initiation rites involve sleeping with books, facing a school day after a late-night overindulgence (I couldn’t put it down!) and in some cases, odd dreams sparked by ink on the page. The benefits of belonging to this club are life-long! Welcome, Maddie!

  3. This story is absolutely adorable! I love your use of repetition, and I love the ending. This story just made me smile and hope my own children break the bedtime rule like this someday. πŸ™‚

  4. That’s awesome! You should be a proud mama! I wish I could just get my Leah to be so into books. 😦
    “I should have been suspicious, but I wasn’t.” I like the repetition. It builds up suspense in this piece. Cute slice!

  5. ummmmm….broke the golden rule of bedtime… for shame! LOL! Some of us can only wish to have a child that breaks rules that way. Congratulations you have done it..You have a child who sees reading as a precious gift! and you can never take that away.

  6. I love the repetition, “I should have been suspicious”. It added a playfulness to the slice. It sure is hard to be frustrated in our “rule breakers” when they are reading–doing the very thing we want, teach, and pray other kids will do with such passion. πŸ™‚

  7. I just love, love, love everything about this slice! You wrote this post beautifully—it was playful and sweet–and you took me back to a time when I was a little rule breaker in my house growing up!

  8. Don’t you just love this!!! And to think she “learned” this all by herself. Btw I L.O.V.E. Baby Mouse books! She has good taste πŸ™‚

  9. So funny!!! Makes me think back to when I was a little kid and would tuck a towel under my door to block out the light of my small reading lamp! I wasn’t fooling anyone!

  10. Love everything about this slice. How you wrote it down to the reading surprise! Can you even believe it? That is too funny … and how can you be mad? Has she been more tired lately? I would think she’d be reading and the eyes would quickly close … guess not. This will be a fabulous story to retell over and over.

  11. You must be the most proud mother in all the world! Perfect slice – perfect subject. She’s going to be a great rule-breaker with every year that goes by. What a great rule to break for her early years. I’m imagining her with her Pillow Pet Light while reading in bed. I love, love her comment to you. Yep. It’s just what she does. Way to go, Maddie!!!

  12. We know our little one reads long after lights out and I know better than to fight it, since it would just become under the covers reading. You can’t keep a reader from her books and, like you, I couldn’t be prouder.

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