Ever since my kids were born, I have sucked at putting them on any sort of routine or schedule. I try all the time, and I’ve gotten better, but I’m not perfect. Sometimes we’re doing errands past nap time. Sometimes they go to bed at 7. Other times they go to bed at 9:30. It happens. It’s life.
One thing I have learned, though, is the power of the bedtime routine. And it’s not because it’s anything I necessarily wanted to do. It’s because of my kids. And Daniel Tiger.
PJ’s, brush teeth, story and song and off to bed.
You’re singing it right now, aren’t you?
I guess maybe five or six months ago this began to be our norm for bedtime. The kids throw a fit if Luke and I try to “forget” their story and song because omg just go to sleep.
Also in the past few months, my daughter has become scared that pirates and/or monsters are going to get her. I know it’s a natural fear. Well, maybe not specifically pirates, especially since Jake and the Neverland Pirates is one of her favorite shows, but I get it. She’s older, more aware, it’s dark, sometimes it’s scary.
But neither my husband or I could figure out a way to console her and let her know THERE ARE NO PIRATES OR MONSTERS in her room. Eventually she’d just wind up in our bed and I’d wind up on the couch because sometimes giving in is just easier. It’s not being lazy. It’s survival.
And then one of Luke’s old co-workers gave us the best idea ever.
It started off as me just spraying a little of my body spray in their rooms. Then we added a song. “Monsters, pirates, go away. Let Lily and Levi sleep today.” Now THEY — yes, both of them — have to be the ones to do the spraying and singing. Every night.
I don’t know if it actually helps them feel better or if they just like staying up for an extra fifteen seconds or if they just like screwing with me, but it’s what I do now. Because I’m a mom. And moms do weird stuff if it means their kids might actually go to sleep.