Thursday, March 10, 2005

Tuck in

Bedtime is my favorite time of the day, and not simply because it holds the promise of a couple of quiet hours for me and my wife after the little people drift off to sleep. I love the ritual of changing into pyjamas, brushing and washing. I love the way the house seems to hum with the concentrated activity of three kids converging on one bathroom. I love the questions that come up as they approach the sink:
  • 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.
The fun really begins when we tuck them into bed. Zach never goes down without a book and his reading lamp. He'll stay up until all hours if he can, reading by the small light that pierces the darkness of his room. My wife was just like that as a kid - and still is - so it's heartening to see the proverbial apple not falling all that far from the tree.

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.


Zinnia Cyclamen said...

First thing in the morning, when nobody else is up and I don't have to start work early. Time just for me. I love it!

carmilevy said...

[Having a conversation with myself...]

I've been getting e-mail from numerous readers indicating they have been unable to leave comments.

To correct this, I have simplified the features that activate when the Comments button is clicked. Hopefully this will appease the Blogger Gods and allow folks to share their thoughts once more.

Anonymous said...

well, i blogged my answer. I see comments are working agaon, i've been trying all night long. 945p


Jezzy said...

I love bedtime. There's nothing better than an early night with a good book. I read until I fall asleep.

I think your night time habits with your kidlets are just gorgeous! I love reading to kids and putting different voices on.

Thumper said...

I only had the one kid, so bedtime rituals were much shorter, and much more simple--but when I look back and think about them, I do miss it. I especially miss doing my "Mommy Magic."

For a while the Boy had nightmares that made him afraid to go to sleep, so I had to confide in him: Mommies and Daddies had a special magic they could use that could probably make the bad dreams go away. So every night for the next year or two, I had to recite my special spell... and the Boy remembers. At 22, he still remembers, and wants to learn that magical spell if he ever has kids.

Totally, totally cool :)

Willow said...

My time driving in the car without the family. I love them all dearly, don't get me wrong, but there are times I just need to belt it out, it was Aerosmith, actually. :) As for fave times with the kids, anytime their lightbulbs switch on and it shows in their eyes. Pretty often actually and I still have trouble keeping a straight face!