When Princess Nagger was a baby, our nightly routine was rocking in the glider rocker in her room reading bedtime stories until she fell asleep – sleep usually happened halfway through the first story. I would then gently lay her in her crib, tiptoe out of the room, and breath a sigh of relief that she was a sound sleeper that wasn’t bothered by barking dork dogs or any other unwanted noise that happened after lights out.
As she grew older, particularly when she graduated to a toddler bed, our nightly routine was still the same – only she would be more interactive with the stories, wanting to be the one turning the pages and insisted we stop to look at all the pictures. That meant that rarely did she fall asleep before it was time for light’s out, but enjoyed being tucked in and willingly gave good night hugs and kisses before drifting off into blissful sleep. She didn’t utilize too many stall tactics (at first) or get out of bed (much).
Once she started school, she didn’t indulge in as many stall tactics (though there were still some present) and if she had a particularly active day at school, she’d even go to bed without saying a word to either the Hubby or I, falling fast asleep before it was even her bedtime. With school right around the corner, I anticipate that to be the case since our bedtime routine this summer has been quite lax.
It’s hard to remember how those routines five years ago were executed – especially since we’ve been spoiled by her independent nature and adopting or acquiring new routines as each year passed. Now we’ve hit a rewind button and have reverted back to the ‘routine mode’, since the Little Dude has come along. This first week of having him as part of our family has flown by fairly quickly, it’s like we’re currently living in an episode of the Twilight Zone – we fell asleep one night with one kid, and woke up the next day with two.
Revisiting old routines aside, I’m learning very quickly that toddler boys are definitely much different than toddler girls. Even if you have a non-girly toddler girl like Princess Nagger was back then. Or even now
Boys are different.
They don’t want to cuddle and have you read to them – they want to play with their little cars and go “Vroom, Vroom!” instead. But heaven forbid you should stop reading the story, because they want you to continue – while they continue to play. And not fall asleep. Then get upset and say “But I’ll miss you!” when the last story is read and it’s time for light’s out.
Boys are definitely different.
Aside from reading until I’m hoarse, or picking stories that are boring, or reading for almost an hour until the Little Dude has fallen fast asleep, I haven’t yet found that magical bedtime routine that keeps the tears at bay. From either of us. But we’ll get there. One day at a time – or maybe that should be one bedtime story at a time.
Which brings me to this week’s question(s):
Do you (or did you) have a magical bedtime routine that works wonders? How do you get a precociously playful dude (or dudette) to go to bed – and stay there – successfully?
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