- Which toothbrush? Each of our kids has at least three. I'm not sure where they all came from, but they do look quite impressive arrayed across the back of the sink. Each munchkin has to pause for at least 60 seconds to mull over which toothbrush will be picked. It's a huge decision, fraught with peril if the wrong one is chosen.
- Which toothpaste? Somehow, we always have at least four or five tubes of toothpaste. Remember the 60 seconds they spent on toothbrush selection? Well, now add another minute for toothpaste selection as well. Heaven forbid I try to hurry things along by suggesting a brush/paste combination that violates the Bedtime Code. "No, Dad, Scooby-Doo toothpaste does not belong on the Dora the Explorer toothbrush." Who knew?
- Where's my blankie? Each child has a beloved woven companion. Zach has a faded green blanket with parrots. Noah has a lovely blue Winnie the Pooh blanket, while Dahlia has a beloved pink bunny. At least one of them will be wondering right about now where he/she left it. My wife and I try to take turns hunting for the wayward comfies. There is no sleep without them.
Dahlia must be surrounded by a precisely laid out array of stuffies and blankets. She seems so small in the middle of this sea of softness, her head sticking out just enough for us to kiss her goodnight. She's our little lady, and that is never more true than when she's buried in a sea of soft pink, her huge blue eyes beginning to droop while she waits for her Mom and Dad to say goodnight.
Noah loves when we crawl into bed with him. Last night, I tucked myself in next to him and listened to his happy chatter. Just as I thought he would never run out of evergy, his voice slowed down and he got really mellow - this is always my favorite time. I asked him if he was happy. He slowly nodded his head, leaned over to me for a final kiss, then gently closed his eyes and was in lalaland. How lucky I was to watch him at the very moment when he fell asleep.
I carefully climbed down from his big boy bed and tiptoed out of his room. I don't know how many bedtimes we have left before they no longer want us to be right there with them as they drift off, but I don't want to miss any more of these magical times than I absolutely have to.
If you have a favorite time of day, I'd love to hear your story, too.