Monday, November 14, 2011

The bedtime routine . . . anything but "routine".

One of my favorite times of the day is the children’s bedtime.  That is not to say that I like them best when they are sleeping, rather, I enjoy the sweet family time we have during the closing parts of the day.  Unfortunately wrestling two small children into their beds before they believe they are ready is very similar to wrangling cats.
            They both have a routine that if one element is found to be off, will start the process over.  They brush their teeth (this is obviously a mommy and daddy requirement), climb into bed with all their appropriate toys (this includes an array of stuffed animals, princesses, superheroes, books, swords, wands, and tiara’s among other things), read a book (my son has recently started reading to us), sing a song (nearly every night is “Jesus loves me”, which I am thankful for as I hardly know the words to any other songs), and our nightly prayers.
            My son likes to start asking questions as we herd him off to bed.  I like to believe that he is an inquisitive soul and he is pondering the meaning of the universe at this time.  However, I have a sneaky suspicion that this is simply a delay tactic.
Nonetheless, this time brings up some interesting Q & A sessions.  Most recently, our son was talking about some of his friends and the names of their parents, which raised an interesting question in my mind, does our son even know our real names, so I figured I’d ask, “What is mommy’s name?”
            “Mommy” he responded matter-of-factly.
            “I know that is what you call her, but what is her real name?”
            He looks skyward for a moment trying to recall a name that I might have used in the past and after some thought, he excited says, “Babe!”
            Laughing and realizing that he may not have heard our names too often and curious what he thinks my name might be, I ask, “What’s my name then?”
            With less thought, he simply said, “Honey.” 
I guess it could be worse, right?
            My daughter on the other hand seems to enjoy the music portion of the routine.  She loves to sing (often making up her own words to her own tune).  Both of the children have a little radio in their room that plays nice child friendly bedtime music on a nightly basis.  Recently though, my daughter has started asking me to dance with her before we lay her down to sleep.  “One dance daddy, one dance,” (probably another stall tactic, but I’ll go for it every time).  She stands on her bed as I stand on the floor or I simply hold her and we sway back and forth to the music (if I am in the mood for some adorable laughter, I’ll throw in a spin or two).  After we’ve laid her down and said our prayers, just before I close the door, I’ll whisper, “Hey baby girl.”
“What?” she’ll say with a hint of excitement.
“I love you.”
“I love you too daddy.”  How can it get any sweeter than this?  This routine has literally has brought tears of joy to my eyes.
When the children are in bed, it becomes mommy and daddy time.  We do what most parents do at this point of the day . . . we go straight to bed, but first we brush our teeth, sing a song . . . 

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