bedtime ritual, big boy, routine

Photo by SuperPickle

The bedtime routine has had its ups and downs around our house.

In fact, we're just getting past the long months of our youngest getting out of bed a hundred times to cry, "But I wanna be with yooouu," which followed the long months of our oldest getting up fifty times to say, "But Mom, I just have one more question."

Things seem to be a little smoother this month (knocking wood furiously), and our bedtime rituals even have some glowing moments, positive ones that I hope will be the ones my boys remember with sweet wistfulness.

As a child, I used to love falling asleep in front of the TV (or pretending to) and having my dad carry me to bed. That was my favorite bedtime event that I tried to make a routine. Cafe Cynthia loved "getting to crawl in bed with my mom and dad and watch a little TV with them before I went to sleep." Cafe MicheleZ adored "when my mom tucked me in real tight."

See? Good bedtime rituals can create sweet memories we replay long into adulthood.

Of course, that may scare some of us who feel like we're constantly negotiating and arguing and wrestling and begging our kids into bed night after night. I choose to believe it's the good stuff that will carry on in their minds. Like right now, my youngest asks for a little song before bed. If he's good and gets into his bed, I let him pick which song. Even though he doesn't say it, I can tell my oldest appreciates the song time too (they share a room).

I'm going to daydream now about how that song ritual is going to work for many more months to come. Yes, it is.

What favorite bedtime rituals and traditions do you remember from your childhood? What bedtime routines work with your kids?