I know I recently posted about my lack of sleep but that mostly has to do with my almost 8 month old daughter.
This is different. This is bedtime. Since the baby arrived 95% of the bedtime routine with Miriam has been done by my hubby. Every night she comes and asks me to put her to bed. I usually say no because I am nursing, or trying to settle a baby or I am just relaxing for the first time that day.
Unlike Miriam, Lucy is fine to sit and hang out with daddy! Today Seth and I went shopping for his friend's birthday present. I called home and asked, "Do you need to me rush home or can I get gas before I come home?"
the response I would have received when Miriam was young is this, "Get home. She is freaking out. I can't get her to calm down. I will get the gas."
Today the response was, "Go ahead. We need gas, so you might as well get it now!"
I have come to the conclusion that either Eric is getting better with babies (which he will deny, saying babies do not like him) or Lucy is relaxed enough with him that she doesn't feel the need to be upset.
Either way, this is good. This is great. No, no, this is AMAZING, FANTASTIC, WONDERFUL. After having a daughter who could not and would not leave my side, having a little free spirit is such a relief!
Back to my point, I am now able to hand the baby to the hubby and get a little bedtime time with Miriam.
Miriam is organized. Miriam likes things her way. Miriam takes a long time to be ready for bed.
First she needs to pee. Second brush her teeth. (This is normal... I know, just wait.) She needs to pick her CD for the night. She needs to pick 2 books for bedtime stories. She needs her snowman blanket, her sheet, her green blanket and her comforter. Then she needs Rapunzel, Cinderella and pink puppy. Somedays the toys change, somedays she adds A LOT more to that list, but those are the staple toys. Sometimes she needs to wear her clip-on earrings. Sometimes she needs to wear a headband. She ALWAYS needs to wear socks. She needs the music on, the red light on and the hallway light off. Now you can settle in for the stories.
Although bedtime takes a plethora or patience, I truly enjoy this time because this is when she is the most candid, honest and affectionate. When I finish reading stories she asks, begs and pleas for me to stay in her bed, but I can't because I am fully aware of how the lack of sleep causes instantaneous sleep when my head hits a pillow, and I don't want to wake up in her bed at midnight.
When she asks for me to stay it reminds me of my childhood. I used to do the same thing. I would ask my mom to stay in bed after reading, and she often stayed and always fell asleep. So now when Miriam asks me, I laugh and say, "I used to ask my mom to do the same thing!" and that smart little girl says "My grandma used to fall asleep in your bed!"
But my favourite part of bedtime, by far, is praying for/with my kids. I think it makes them feel special that I would take the time to pray for them, and I love to hear what they feel God needs to hear. Miriam always thanks God for all of her friends, sometimes we list them, other times we just say 'friends'.
This week one of our cats was laid to rest in the backyard and she told us that "Azara is with Jesus."
Although she sometimes likes to tell me that God doesn't love her and she doesn't love God, I think she is really starting to grasp the fact that God will always be there for us.
Bedtime with Seth is incredibly different. He has a lot of responsibilities. He does his own thing, feeds his gecko and his fish and read to himself until I tell him it is time to turn the lights out. Then I go in and pray with him. I am really starting to LOVE the thought of having a 10 year-old. I love hearing his daily 'news' and his stories about friends and teachers, but his heart-felt prayers are touching and occasionally eye opening.
So if you have kids and you don't pray with them, I think it is time to add that to the bedtime routine. I personally like to say a verse, and give them a blessing, but the prayer you say with your own words will give them confidence and teach them the power of prayer.
This blog isn't to tell people what to do. I am not giving you any Unsolicited Advice. If you don't want it, don't take it, but since you are reading, I figure you like to know what is going on in my life.
If you are not a christian, I suggest some other form of blessing, perhaps telling them some nice things about themselves, or something my mom enjoys doing with her grandkids, start listing all of the people who love your child.
Either way, I know how difficult bedtime can be sometimes. I know we just want to plop our kids in bed so we can have some down time, but I urge you to take the time, it's not very long. The TV show you are missing isn't that important, your kids will remember bedtime forever.
It's been a long time since my mom stopped tucking me in and reading me bible stories but I will never forget those nights. I enjoyed it so much that I would request that my mom wake me up if she was out for the night just so I could get a little alone time, just me and my mom. (Hey mom!)