“When I think of the bedtime routine with my kids, it’s like this royal coronation jubilee centennial of rinsing, and plaque, and dental appliances, and the stuffed animals semi-circle of emotional support.”
The bedtime routine is not for pansies. You never really know how it’s going to go down.
In my house, we have several, very specific steps to get the toddler to sleep.
It starts out with time warnings.
“Z, ten minutes until bedtime.”
“Okay, five more minutes.”
Then we brush teeth. This is assuming, of course, she hasn’t broken down into a pile of screams on the floor (yet).
Back when we first started using a tooth brush, she wasn’t having it. So I thought I would try something. She would brush her teeth, while I brushed mine. Then she would brush my teeth. And lastly, I would brush hers.
There are a few things going on here. One, she’s copying me and learning how to brush her teeth. Two, she gets to feel like she has a bit of control while she’s brushing mine, (if you do this, be on your guard, toddlers tend to brush straight in your mouth-to your throat. At least the first few times.) Third, I get to brush her teeth and actually get them clean.
This part of the routine lasted a few months but has since transitioned into just her teeth getting brushed. I will always insist on being the one to put the toothpaste on, if it was up to her, she would eat that nasty stuff for an after dinner snack.
Next we get her sippy cup ready for bed, (I know!! I need to get rid of this step! Get off of me about it!) Then, and this is very important, I need to carry her downstairs to her room.
I put her night time diaper on. She turns her music on-God forbid that I do it. No biggie, if I forget and accidentally turn it on, she has a hissy fit, turns it off then turns it back on.
The drawn out process of choosing three books begins. Never mind the fact that she wants the same three books for weeks at a time. Kids at this time of day are master stallers.
Once the books are chosen, it’s time to shove daddy to the floor so she can climb onto his back by way of his calves, then count to ten and leap into bed. Daddy is not allowed to count, only mama. We count to ten, then she says, “NO! I want to count to nine!” Fine, count to nine, then she jumps.
Read the books in bed with the little lady. When we get to the third one, the questions start. Who’s that? What are they doing? Why? Whatever it takes to make that final book last.
“My bedtime story when I was a kid – darkness.”-Jerry Seinfeld
Good night hugs and kisses and a promise to return after I “clean the kitchen,” I leave the little lovely to fall asleep.
Luckily for now, the boy goes to sleep pretty easily. How old are they when they really start to fine-tune their manipulation skills? He’ll be there in no time I’m sure.
On a good day, the whole ordeal takes about 25 minutes. Not tonight though. Tonight we had two screamers. Which means no storytime, which, of course, means more screaming.
How does the
dreaded much anticipated bedtime routine go down in your house?