Sixteen castaways stranded on an island didn't interest me at the beginning of the summer. Several weeks passed before I became aware of the program. One night of flipping channels, however, and I was hooked. But before my husband and I could watch the popular television program where 16 people claw and fight their way to a million dollars, I had to survive bedtime.
Bedtime starts with the announcement. Convincing children it is bedtime despite the daylight pouring in their windows isn't an easy task. The 3-year-old believes any light in the sky means it is "morning time." The darkest shades and curtains do little to diminish the tempting summer sun from sneaking into their bedrooms.
To help prove it was bedtime, we showed them the clock. The two oldest could recognize the number eight without a problem. Who knew we were just creating a new problem? Just days later at 7:57 p.m., I announced bedtime. Immediately arguments broke out. We have to wait until exactly 8:00 p.m. on the clock before my children will move a single muscle towards the bathroom and ultimately the bedroom.
Well that tactic didn't work, but what if I get them into their pajamas earlier? I quickly formed an unbreakable alliance with my spouse and we were ready for the next night's bedtime challenge. At 7:30 p.m., I announced it was time to get pajamas on. Protests rose immediately.
"We don't want to go to bed," moaned one. "It's not our bedtime yet," whined another. I was armed. I handed two pairs of pajamas to my spouse as we pushed aside the protests.
"We didn't say anything about going to bed," I pointed out. "We just said it was time to get pajamas on." I sounded suspiciously like Richard at tribal council with his innocent face saying, "Alliance? What alliance?"
As the clock ticked closer to 8 p.m., I encouraged each of the children to go to the bathroom. When the clock hit 8 p.m. I was ready. I raced to put all four children in their respective beds. I kissed lips and tucked covers. I had done it! They were all in bed and on their way to sleep land.
Once more I put the children to bed. They sweetly tell me they are going to sleep immediately. The minute my back is turned, they start plotting my demise. How can they get around Mommy to convince Daddy that it really isn't bedtime? Can they break the alliance?
Dad may be the weak link, but he won't let them stay up either. Of course, they would have had a stronger case if they hadn't talked so much when the show was on. It gets hard to hear the TV when two children are dancing and singing.
My brothers use to throw darts and knives at each others feet in some kind of bonding ritual. I would normally describe my own children as loving and caring, but something sinister happens when they deal with their siblings.
Is Richard the ultimate survivor? Did corporate strategy prove to be the way to go? Is the world really made up of snakes and rats? All I can say is he may have won the million by eating bugs and observing relationships, but lets see how he does in a house with four kids for 39 days! We'll find out exactly who is the real survivor.