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Bedtime Boys

Bedtime Boys

A Story by J.A. Marquez

A dream of the past came to fruition late yesterday evening, much sooner than my once adolescent brain had ever imagined it would. To hear my children scream and play brought an unexpected grin upon my lips. I raised an eyebrow, nearly invisible in the shadowy sitting room. My husband groaned at the prospect of yet again having to swat a palm against their thinly padded rears.

"Stop playing boys!"

I called into the master bedroom, where our offspring were often lulled to sleep by B rated children's films, and the slow passing of time. The stretch in my cheeks was unmaskable in the tone of the gentle reprimand. Quick as lightning the rumpus ceased and in its place rolled a steady whisper of conspiracy.

"I used to day dream about this moment."

I confided in my husband, who had chosen to ignore the continued low chatter. Before he had time to roll his eyes, mini footprints were being stamped into the pale kitchen linoleum. I chewed my cheeks, awaiting the expected greivances.

"Dad, Zade was playing."

Our oldest, Zeno belly ached. A second pair of feet padded through the box shaped hall that separates the master suite from the rest of the house.

"I just heard you playing."

Their father was gripped between hilarity and annoyance.

"Go to bed."

He hollered. In unison they offered reasonable protest.

"You said you would put another movie on!"

"Ood puda mooby Dad!"

"You did say you would."

I sided with the enemy.


He grunted, rolling from the coarse fibered sofa. The three disappeared as a herd of man children, stampeding through their natural habitat. I was left chortling with self-fulfilling glee. The throws of laughter stole my time, and before long a tired daddy was bumbling back into the living room.

"I am not kidding. I have literally dreamed, in detail, about this exact moment."

I mildly exaggerated. He shook his head as he plopped back into the still warm indentation on the couch. We laughed together and recounted the episode in a decriminalized light.

"It's like, God! I JUST heard you playing."

He griped in a staccato breath of irony. I hummed my agreement, soaking up the last sweet moments of this milestone in mommyhood. A comfortable silence settled over the room, aiding the darkness in spreading calm throughout our house. We breathed interchangably, picking up whiffs of microwaved burrito, diaper cotton, and a lingering medicinal essence. My husband parted his lips, releasing a final forgiving sigh. Before the last molecule of air escaped into the room, the tell tale tramping echoed at my back. We both caught our breath and tentatively awaited the overture of our oldest child's misplaced woe.


He sighed in a melodramatic coo. We braced for impact, our teeth instinctively clenched. He didn't wait for us to acknowledge his presence before loudly accusing his baby brother.

"Zade is hitting me."

With coreographed accuracy our palms struck our foreheads, as we supressed the amusement that was inked onto our faces. I looked to my husband and he looked to me.

"Go to bed Zeno."

We chimed in a rare moment of conference. The work of a parent is never complete.

© 2015 J.A. Marquez

Author's Note

J.A. Marquez
I was inspired by my children and their persistence to stay awake long after the bedtime ritual had been performed. They bring such joy to my life, even when they are pushing my buttons. Thank you for reading. I am open to any constructive criticisms as always.

My Review

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Hi, I'm new to this site and reviewing so don't judge! I stumbled upon this story the realism is great. The small amount of dialogue is very natural, and it's the perfect example of a "parent's work" never being "complete." I'm not a mother, but have so much appreciation for my own knowing I did exactly this.

Sometimes, I think some of the "be" verbs could have been sliced, i.e. this sentence "With coreographed accuracy our palms struck our foreheads, as we supressed the amusement that was inked onto our faces. I looked to my husband and he looked to me." Maybe "as we supressed the amusement inked on our faces" minus the "that was" would make it flow? Just a suggestion!

But I loved this!

Posted 6 Years Ago

J.A. Marquez

6 Years Ago

Thank you so much! I always ask for advice and rarely get it. I am glad you liked it.
love true life poems,especially about children,no criticism here
you can`t improve on love.a great write

Posted 6 Years Ago

I so enjoyed reading this and savored this moment that you took time to write and share. I have two adult sons, so I definitely remember times like these. All the havoc and frustration they thought they could create as a tag-team-duo on mom; I enjoy looking back and still smile when I do. "...a herd of man children stampeding through their natural habitat.". I love this line! Thanks again for sharing this piece.

Posted 6 Years Ago

I am not a mother nor could I ever be one (hopefully, or else I have some serious self-identity issues to work out), but if ever I were to be able to understand what maternity is like, it would be from this story. The medley of love, frustration, compassion, joy, and a thousand other inexplicable emotions present in it give rise to the same emotions in the reader, and I felt myself smiling along with the narrator at her children's antics. I love your diction, especially with "I sided with the enemy" - it gives me the impression that, even through adulthood, child-like happiness persists. You must be a fantastic mother, and your husband, a great father. Thank you for sharing this! :)

Posted 6 Years Ago

J.A. Marquez

6 Years Ago

Wow, thank you for the in depth review. Parenthood is probably the most difficult, but most rewardi.. read more

6 Years Ago

I think loving them is the most important thing. Everyone makes mistakes, but, well, love conquers a.. read more
Oh i love this, the mum in my was gushing and smiling along while i read the oh familiar feeling I too have when my kids push the limits and my husband and i cannot help but find the amusement in it!
Beautiful written and captured perfectly!!

Posted 6 Years Ago

J.A. Marquez

6 Years Ago

Thank you so much for the comment. These moments are so fleeting, I just had to capture it so I coul.. read more

6 Years Ago

it was a pleasure to read .!!

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5 Reviews
Added on May 8, 2015
Last Updated on May 8, 2015
Tags: love, children, motherhood, dreams, laugh, smile


J.A. Marquez
J.A. Marquez

South Lake Tahoe, CA

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