American Bedtime Kids

(For my younger brothers. My youngest, who I love to read to at night. Even though you are wild, I will always love you. No matter what. My younger brother, who I will always love. Who I have read my "Fancy Nancy" books to, "Junie B. Jones" and so on. Love you my little brothers, and I hope you like this story buddies! As for everyone else, I hope you all like this one. I feel a lot of older siblings can relate to this one.)

"No! I do not want to take a shower! I don't want to go to bed right now! Please, let me stay up longer! Don't ruin the fun now!" My little brothers cry at me. I shake my head and keep cleaning up the playroom. Being the oldest sibling was hard, hard work. But loving work. Getting your youngest siblings to shower is not very easy. I get them out into the playroom and they keep crying out at me. I am ready to snap. I breathe. That helps. I think. Bribery could work. It works usually. It makes me think about what the return would be. What I would give them in return for showering quickly. Usually, I sleep with them. But I need to sleep by myself tonight. I think a bit harder. How about...Ummm...Storytime. There we go. Doable, and I can stay in my own bed. Glad they can't read my mind, or they would make me do that exactly.

"How about this." I have their attention. They've stopped crying at me at least. "I will read you and have you both get a storytime if you two can get in the bath and brush your teeth in, uhh, ten minutes. How about that? Pretty good, right?" They think. Then they look up at me. They nod their heads. I look at my watch and say, "Now start!" They run into their room and start getting undressed. Then they hop in the shower. I hand them their toothbrushes. Then I scrub the firsts' heads. Then the next one. I get them a towel to make sure there is no water in their eyes. They cry in pain if there is any soap. Understandable. I can respect that for obvious reasons. It hurts.

Then while they are drying their eyes and finish brushing their teeth I scrub their bodies. Then I have them rinse. I get the mouth wash and clean their toothbrushes. I pour the first cup and then the second. While they are swishing it in their mouths they decide to spit the mouth wash onto each other. So then they went ahead and gave them floss picks. I reminded them of storytime and they straightened up. Quickly, I washed them again, threw away the toothpicks as they dried off, and put them in their pajamas. Then I combed their hair. Eleven minutes. I felt sorry. They deserved it for the most part. So, I told them to say good night to mom and dad. That they did it, but a second later they wouldn't have made it. They smiled at each other.

They said good night to our parents and then I said good night to them as well. Then I took them to their rooms. I read the first one a comic book. In the comic book, his favorite superhero went and nearly got defeated. Then, at the last second, the superhero played a trick on the bad guy and the bad guy ended up behind bars. This made my little brother so happy. Even though it felt like the millionth time I read this comic book, seeing his reaction every time made me happier. Even though I was still very tired and ready to go to bed, I was ready for my next little brother's story. He was younger, and all he really liked was picture books. Or really funny easy-to-read books.

He wanted a book about a cat. The cat had bright white shoes. He got them really dirty, but the cat kept walking. He still liked his shoes, no matter how muddy they got. But then the rain came and then they went back to being white. The cat had a little song that made him look on the bright side with whatever color his shoes were. Like when the shoes were read from walking in a strawberry field. "I love my red shoes. I love my red shoes. I love my red shoes. They're red like roses, raspberries, and tomatoes. I love my red shoes." I sang it every time to the same tune. He likes my singing. He had me sing him his favorite lullaby and tuck him in. He rocked me to sleep.

He liked the book and the song a lot. He was very cute as he got scared when he thought his mom wouldn't like his colorful shoes. But then the rain came and he was relieved his mom would never find out. I remembered what life was like when I was their age. I loved them so much. Even though they made me so tired, and I had to take a cold shower, I did not mind. I loved them. Both of them. And as much work as they could be for me sometimes was quite a bit of work. And having a cold shower was fine, I showered alone. I was able to stay up longer. Being the older sibling included staying up later. Being more tired, waking up early and sometimes earlier than them.

I make a lot of sacrifices for my little brothers. I make sure they are happy and doing alright at all times. That they are willing to do whatever it takes to keep them happy. Keeping them happy was a task. They fight with each other so much. But that does not matter. They can always agree with me. Find that they can love me and like me whatever it takes.

April 19, 2022 20:01

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.