I think I finally understand why parents put their children to bed so early.
Every night between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., I put our two puppies in their room for the night. Their room is a safe place away from the cats and the big open spaces of our house. It’s where they eat breakfast and dinner, and where they occasionally use the bathroom when they’re not feeling well or have an accident (or when it’s raining outside and we’re not letting them out). Basically, it’s their sanctuary from the world.
I do my best to keep it clean with fresh blankets every few days, a steady stream of water in their dish, and plenty of toys for them to play with; I’m kinda awesome at keeping them comfortable.
The only downside of their room is now they’ve outgrown their gate for it and can easily stand on top of it with their front legs ready to climb out. It’s adorable when you come home from work and they’re ecstatic to see you.
“MOM/DAD/RYAN! OH MY GAWD YOU’RE HOME. PLEASE LET US OUT, WE HAVE TO PEE AND WE WANNA JUMP ON YOUR FACES.” (I imagine that’s their first thought upon seeing us, but I have no idea. I’m not a dog.)
Anyway, I don’t feel guilty admitting that I like putting them in their room for the night. When it’s time for bed, I clap twice, they get up, move onto their blanket in the room, I lock the gate, they sit for their cookie, they eat said cookie and go right back to sleep. It’s a nice way to wind down from the day.
But I digress. It’s nice because now I know I’m going to be uninterrupted for the rest of the time I’m awake working on projects or watching Netflix or doing whatever is that I’m doing.
And tonight, I realized how much of a blessing that alone time is considering that while I have a room, I never use it to actually sleep in. I just use it for storage.
And I think that’s why parents set bedtimes so early. I mean, it makes sense to send your children to bed early so you and your significant other can finally have some peace and just be together without any distractions (accidents and incidents pending).
It’s a three hour window that allows whatever weird activity you wanna partake in to just happen. It’s magical that time, really.
That’s my epiphany for the night. I’m gonna go watch The Wolverine and read The Fault in Our Stars because I can.