Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bedtime Stories

From the time Aaron was little, he had a routine at bedtime. We would read books and then sit with him in the rocking chair while his CD was playing music until he fell asleep. Then, and only then, we would carefully maneuver him into his crib. If he woke up, the whole thing would start all over again. Some nights were relatively quick, while others took hours. He would sleep with various stuffed animals and a number of pacifiers (one for his mouth, one for each hand and a few extra just in case). When he turned two years old he cried every single night because all he wanted to do was sleep in my bed. We let him "cry it out" a number of times which got harder as he got older because he would yell actual words ("Mommy, I need you, come here please") as opposed to just general wailing. When he was about two and a half years old, I would have to sit on the floor and hold his hand while he fell asleep in his crib. That ended pretty quickly after one night of my pregnant self not being able to get up from the floor. By the time he came out of his crib at 3 years and 2 months old, he transitioned pretty easily into a bed. (Please no comments about how old he was when he came out of the crib - if I hadn't needed it for Camryn when she was born, he still might be in the crib!). The routine changed, but didn't get much shorter. The new routine consisted of reading books, telling stories and then laying there with him for awhile. Not until he fell asleep, but for a good while. At almost 6 years old, his bedtime routine consists of reading a book, talking a little and then he goes to sleep. Good night, see ya tomorrow.

When Camryn was born, I swore up, down and sideways that she would NOT have any type of bedtime routine. We would put her into the crib when she was awake and she learned to put herself to sleep. No pacifer. No 45 minute route. No sitting on the floor while she fell asleep. Just bottle and crib. Good night. She has always been a great sleeper, going to bed at 7pm and waking up at 7am. When she woke up, she would play in her crib until we came in to get her. We thought we did it - we had at least one child who could go to bed quickly. Until now. At two and a half years old, Camryn now required a crazy bedtime routine. First she and Aaron jump on Aaron's bed (with Craig's supervision, of course). When they're done jumping, they lay down and Craig reads them a book. Camryn doesn't always listen, but it's usually a relatively short book, with outbursts of "Camryn, stop" and "Camryn, sit down." They get through the book, have already brushed teeth and washed hands and then Camryn goes into her room. After she needs a drink/ different pajama pants/different socks/has to pee, she needs to hear a story. Not a book, but a made up story. With Craig, he makes up elaborate stories. Not me. With me, she gets the same story every night. She picks the character (Miss Beth/Miss JudiAnn/Mr. Chris/Mr. Nick/Shrek/Fiona/Dora/Diego/Boots/Swiper) and then whoever she picks goes to school and hurts their knee. Don't look at me - she asks for this story. Every. Single. Solitary. Night. Multiple times!

So, alas, both of my kids have crazy bedtime routines where we start putting them to bed about an hour and a half before we actually walk out of their bedrooms. It's a giant pain. However, in my heart of hearts, I know I shouldn't complain because one day I will want to tell Camryn the story of whoever hurt their knee, have her jump on Aaron's bed or sit with Aaron until he falls asleep.


  1. oh we all have our bedtime woes...and of course it is at the end of the day when we are pooped out too...someday they won't let us tuck them in right???

  2. I am not a fan of bedtime. I like the moments leading up to it, story time, cuddling.. but the actual falling asleep part drives me mad. My youngest is not bad, but my oldest. grrrrrrr.. he is such a little drama king. :) But I hear what your saying, they will get big quick enough and we will want those times back. :)

  3. I hate bedtime. That's why husband does it. *grin*


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