Bedtime Routines

Bedtime is a funny time for little kids. And by funny, I of course mean long, drawn-out, tortuous, and full of all their least-favorite things to do: diaper changes, clothing changes,  teeth-brushing, and leaving the fun that’s going on to go to sleep. A parent’s natural reaction to their wee one’s dislike of bedtime? Let’s draw it out as long as possible! Let’s have a bath, brush teeth, get in pyjamas, read two stories, cuddle, sing a song, say night-night to every object in the room, get in bed, rub their back, whisper “night-night, sleep tight!” as you back slowly from the room…and that’s not even considering those poor parents who have to do this routine more than one time!

With Fast Turtle, we have the bunny and bear family. He must have all five (yes, 5) of them in his crib at night. He must name them all (Mama Bunny, Daddy Bunny, Baby Bunny, Blue Bear and Pink Bear. Daddy Bear must be within sight but vehemently insists that he not be in the crib; I often wonder if it’s because he doesn’t like Daddy Bear, who is a more recent addition to the line-up and maybe isn’t ready to move all the way from the toy shelf to the crib,and so he ends up in the no-bears land of sitting on the floor, forlornly looking up at Blue and Pink.) and he must be physically touching, if not laying on top of, all of them.

Before the bunnies and the bears, however, there’s the milk and the rocking. We have an exact routine of how he drinks his milk, what I sing when I rock him (“Oh B’Darlin” he calls it; our version of “Oh My Darlin’ Clementine!”), how when he finishes his milk he must say “Done, done!” and then I put the cup on the nightstand, he says “Hands, hands!” and I tuck the blanket over his arms. Then it’s a few minutes of rocking and singing, and then into the crib with the bears. And bunnies. And did I mention the three blankets? And how they all must be covering him? And his ears–his ears must be covered. You’d think we had no heat or were living in an igloo, the way this one insists that I cover his ears (“I ears, I ears, mommy!”).

The good thing about his little family of woodland creatures is that they are only for sleeping, not for dragging all around the house, so that at least the hunting around for them I have to do is limited to digging them out from between the crib and the wall where he shoves them. Because evidently at night they like to wake up and party and then “animals jump in the hole!” Of course they do. 😉


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