That last push to the summit (of bedtime)
And I can feel the patience draining right out of my body. I can also see the lounge - I can see time on my own - it's coming, but it's not there. Not even close.
But the tricky thing is that if you start losing the plot with 20 minutes to go it takes a whole lot longer. Everyone gets grumpy - words are exchanged that need resolving and so it goes on. So I take deep Mummy breathes, put on my super calm, strange sing-songy voice ('Oh you've lost your homework sheet? The one that is due tomorrow morning? Well, let's find it together dearest child', 'Oh you can't find the tiny fluffy animal that we got from Maccas in 2001 that you suddenly can't sleep without? Yes, let's search behind all the cupboards right now precious child', 'What's that? You've suddenly remembered that you need to construct an animal out of vegetables to hand in at school? Well sweetheart I'll just grab the carrots for you') and push on.
I sometimes get dizzy with the breathing in and out thing as I reach new heights of patience and tolerance - the oxygen is disappearing but I catch glimpses of the summit. It gives me hope. This too will pass - they will get into bed (it's happened before I remind myself).
Finally peace reigns and I can breath normally again.
Until I hear the vomiting
coming from the top bunk in the girl's room ...