I love bedtime.
After we work our way through the seven stages and we have finally reached Acceptance, I love bedtime.
It begins somewhere in the neighborhood of 7:47pm. The announcement is made to the children that we will be heading up to bed at the next commercial. This information is met with Shock and Disbelief. WHY??? WHY???
"It's only seven-four-seven?!?!?!? We don't go to be until eight-one-three?!?!?!?!"
Actually, you go to bed at eight-zero-zero but...whatever.
Then there are tears, demands, yelling and usually at least one threat of "throw up." (We take the last one VERY seriously these days)
Finally, FINALLY, after about one-three minutes, we have reached Acceptance.
I provide a "piggy bank" for one and sometimes two of the children. The logistics are tricky but the results are solid.
We arrive upstairs and children are deposited in their own beds. Diapers are changed, plastic bed protectors are adjusted and stranded "guys" are rescued from the crack between the bed and the wall.
And then it is time for "snuggles."
My oldest son requests nightly that I tell him what to dream about. This is given the clever name, "Dream About" and involves an itinerary of three or four fun things that will be happening in the coming weeks. Items can include but are not limited to, birthday, beach vacation, Santa visit and trips to Mom Mom's house. The ending to the "dream about" is always the same and signals that he should release death grip around my neck, "dream about ice cream."
My middle son receives a more traditional snuggle that features routine phrases. I nuzzle into his neck behind his ear with my nose and breath very deeply and very slowly. I take about 5 to 7 breaths to fully complete his nightly request of, "The snuggle is first and make it a slow one."
I kiss him on each eye and then the nose. I walk to the door at which point I must turn around and say, "I will dream about you."
If you forget this last bit, and believe me I have, the result is a WAILING child and the need to "start over."
My baby girl gets a slightly different arrangement at bedtime. She gets a book. Every night. Because she is the baby and she is spoiled. (I'm fine with it.)\
She is nestled into her great big bed,surrounded by pink and green pillows, her blond curls splayed out around her. She bats her giant brown eyes and very sweetly says, "Read a book."
I go to the book basket and select a standard favorite, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
"Nooooooooooo!!!!" she shrieks, "I want Love You."
Isnt' this fun.
But...sadly, she usually gets her way.
I don't know if it is her sheer volume or my lack of resources to fight her after a long day, or maybe it is her beautiful brown eyes fringed in long dark lashes that get it done, but the result is the same.
I retrieve her chosen book and snuggle beside her in the big bed. I read the book and thank God that she is here. That she is healthy. I thank God for all the blessings of my life.
And then she pokes me in the eye because I usually fall asleep.