Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Bedtime Routine

The bedtime routine is always a long drawn out process here. Tonight was no exception. We start out by playing a game together, which sometimes turns into two games and results in some type of altercation. We then get drinks of water and head upstairs, where we read a book, say prayers, give hugs, and say good night.

The book part is always entertaining. I had no idea that children could stretch a book with a few pages to last for half an hour. The book part usually goes something like this:

Me: Snowmen at Christmasti---
Ayden: Hey mommy, guess how many ice cubes are in my cup!"
Me: Um five, so Snowmen at----
Regan: Mommy did you know owls can live for 14 days?
Me: Honey they probably live longer than that. OK, so the Snowmen---
Ayden: Mommy no you were wrong, it's seven.
Me: OK, Snowmen----
Ayden: Mommy when you went to my school, what classroom did you got to?
Me: I didn't go to your school, I lived somewhere else.
Ayden: Well when will I go there?
Me: You won't, we don't live in that area now.
Ayden: Well how do I get there? Where is it?
Me: It's too far away to go now, let's get back to the book.
Ayden and Regan: OK
Me: The snowmen were---
Ayden: Mommy why is that snowman doing that? Hey look a sight word from class! I know that word!
Me:Yes, Ayden good job, you are doing great. OK, The snowmen were---
Regan: Mommy Mommy!
Me: What Regan?
Regan: Ummmmm, I forget.

And there are the questions to which I have no immediate answer, such as "Mommy why is the sun so yellow?" "Why does the sky look blue?" "Are butterflies ticklish?"

And then there are ones that lead to even more questions, "Mommy what happens when snowmen melt?" "Well what is evaporation?" "Well isn't it sad that the snowmen melt and are gone forever?" "Mommy if the snowmen have gifts at Christmas (this was in the book we read) where do they hide them?"

We finally will make it through the book, only after we stop to go through a few repeats of this same scenario. Then we say our prayers. My daughters always pray, and my oldest daughter sometimes asks me very sweetly if she can sit and talk to God after we pray, of course I always say yes. My son has difficulty during this time. I pray with him, tell them stories about Jesus and the Bible, and I tell them about God. Yet my son has trouble accepting things he cannot see.My son has some behavioral/emotional health issues, so he questions everything and anything, several hundred times.

After praying, it sometimes leads to talks about Heaven and death. My son started asking questions about death and where you go, even though we talked about this before (he needs a lot of reassurance and always thinks of new questions to ask). Talks like this usually get my daughter upset, and she starts saying, "Mommy I don't want you to die." "Mommy I love you, please don't die." "Mommy when are you going to die?"

I do think the questions are important, and I just keep trying to answer them the best way I can. I hope to be able to give my son faith, even if he has a hard time understanding it now.

After we say our prayers, I love yous, and good nights, I finally leave the room. Of course, my youngest daughter usually sneaks downstairs several times for a drink, a hug, or with some question, which usually takes us a while to understand because she does not talk very well yet.

For my son, we have to check in closets and inside his bed tent. Then he usually has several very important things to tell us, such as "I have gym tomorrow. Don't forget my gym shoes. Do you know what games we play at gym? Well we play this game and that game, but one of them is boring." and so on. 

The bedtime routine is both a time I love for talking and one that is overwhelming after a long day. Sometimes my husband does the bedtime routine, sometimes we do it together, and other times it is just me. 

Do you have a bedtime routine?

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