“Nocturnal Creatures” Family Night

Jonathan got the crazy notion that it would be fun one night before school starts again to let the kids stay up as late as they want.

Thus, “nocturnal creatures” family night was born.

All day while their Dad was at work, me and the kids talked about the different animals that come out at night. We found pictures of several of them, and the kids colored them, cut them out, and put them all over the house.

My personal favorites: the rat peeking out from behind the TV, and the raccoon trying to get into the trash can.

There were several others as well (here’s the list I pulled from), and the kids made Jonathan go an on “animal hunt” to find them all when he got home from work.

After all the animals were found, Jonathan gave the kids the news that the fun part of Family Night was that THEY got to be “nocturnal creatures” themselves and stay up as late as they wanted.

What?!?!? [insert excited squealing] As! Late! As! They! Wanted!???!!???? A totally foreign concept for my kids, as every night by 8:00 I’m ready for them to go to bed, whether they’re ready or not.

It was at this point of the evening their energy level quadrupled.

And I put on some coffee for me and Jonathan.

We hung out, ate dinner, made all the kids take baths, and at 8:30 sat down to watch Wipe-Out. Yes, we’re very sophisticated.

Before 9:30, Lauryn was out cold. Sleeping under the stars. (In the living room floor, under the stars we had hung from the ceiling.)

At 10:15 or so the boys headed to the front porch. They hung out chatting, listening to the crickets, and reading a book together.

By 10:30, Ryan was moping on the couch, acting like Family Night was a punishment, and I had to remind him he was free to go to bed whenever he wanted. Off he went. The first born put himself to bed and Lauryn fell asleep in the floor – I had totally called it.

That leaves Dylan. Oh Dylan. My precious middle child. He was tired, but fighting the good fight.

Observe the methods he employed to keep himself awake.

Messing with his sister:


Helping give the dog a bath:

And at 11:45pm, still racing madly around the house with a paper airplane:

By 12:10am I was worn down, but he was still going strong. I strongly suggested (okay, insisted) that he turn off all the lights and lay down on the couch with some books. (Okay so I cheated a little! But I didn’t technically make him go to bed! ) He managed to fight off sleep another 20 minutes or so before he finally fell asleep. Ahh…sweet slumber. They are just so darn adorable when they’re sleeping.

Click here to see all our previous family nights.

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