Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rock-A-Bye

Wow it's been a while since I've written anything - nearly a month! Very uncool. It's not really from lack of material, but more lack of time and energy. Also a surfeit of material really. We have so many great photos from fun stuff we've done in the past couple of months - I feel unable to get through it all and post the ABSOLUTE BEST STUFF. So of course I should just post whatever I feel like - because something is better than nothing, right? (don't answer that)

So a topic on my mind these days is bedtime. Because really ever since the great pacifier weaning it's been a whole new ballgame around here. Lily's still a good sleeper - I wouldn't even pretend to cry sleep-deprived knowing what I do about how little sleep other parents have to function on. But the bedtime routine has definitely morphed from "Look Lily - here's your crib! and pacifier! Have a blast!" to something much more complex.

Now, bedtime goes something like this.

After dinner we head straight to the potty. We sit there a while. Usually Lily directs me on what to do: "Mommy sit stool" and then "Mommy magazine" (yeah, she really says magazine, kind of cracks me up). Then I browse through Real Simple while she checks out the latest issue of Parenting. Eventually there is peeing involved, sometimes pooping - depending on the day. Eventually she is persuaded to move to the lovely bath we have prepared for her. She hangs out there playing with her cups and squirty octopus guys until the water mysteriously disappears down the drain. After the bath there is some mystical teeth brushing ritual with Daddy that I do not even pretend to understand. All I know is that I am terrified I might have to partake some day. Gordon can not go away again until she is an independent brusher.

At this point the party moves to the bedroom. There is diapering and dressing. Then Lily roams around picking up her favorite books. Sometimes she asks us to read one. Usually she'll hand me a favorite - these days either "Peek! A Thai Hide and Seek!", "Goodnight Moon" or "Knuffle Bunny". Then she'll pick up a different book and flip through that while I read the other one. Kids these days - always with the multi-tasking!

A few notes on these books. The Peek! book is excellent - it's a big game of hide and seek between a dad and his baby girl played in some awesome tropical paradise where really cool animals roam around free. If you followed the link, note that on the cover the baby is wearing shoes and holding an umbrella. Lily tracks the location of these items like a bloodhound throughout the book. We often get stuck on a page for a while because she's upset that "Daddy! baby shoes!" (daddy has baby's shoes) or "Baby! 'Brella" (baby has dropped the umbrella again, clumsy baby!).

We have similar issues with Goodnight Moon. How many of you have noticed that the mouse is hiding somewhere different in every full color page? Once you spot it you've got a game within the book. There are two pictures that hold Lily's attention in a particular way.
*spoiler alert*
In one the mouse is perched precariously on the bookshelf. "Uh-oh! Mouse! Boo Boo!" she exclaims, looking very concerned. In the other the mouse is hanging out by the mush bowl, eying it hungrily. Here Lily becomes VERY agitaated "Mouse take mush! Eat!" She is very concerned about animals eating her food - we're not sure why - we don't even have pets!

Phew - I'm off-track - back to bedtime (see this post is pretty much EXACTLY like bedtime). Eventually we manage to get to the crib. Although usually there's a another trip to the potty before that happens. Because let me tell you - there is NO time like BEDTIME when it comes to the potty. This potty trip is bare-bones - no books, no magazines. Sometimes Lily will say "Pee Pee Potty! No book!" and shake her finger at me.

Tired yet? At this point I'm usually pretty much fried. But Wait! There's MORE!

So let's assume we're past the final potty trip and into the crib. Let's also assume we found room to PUT Lily in the crib. Because the crib is also home to: Baby Tad, Lobster, Whale, Rabbit, Turtle, "TWO FROGGIES", Roo, Mama Duck, and others. Now we begin the entertainment part of the program - where we sing for her pleasure. There are three songs - never more, never fewer. The first two are usually taken from:
"Quack Quack Song"
"This old Man"
"Rainbow Connection" - known to Lily as "Me" (that's her favorite line to sing)
"Bingo"
"Doe a Dear"
and pretty much ALWAYS capped off with
"You are my Sunshine"

At this point we make our escape. Sometimes Baby Tad continues the singing, but lately not. Sometimes we have to deny requests to: pee-pee/poop in the potty, eat berries, drink milk. Sometimes if she thinks I'm being too strict about this whole bedtime thing she'll tell me "Mommy tired, Mommy lie down" to get rid of me so she can work on Daddy one-on-one. It's brilliant really - I AM exhausted, how can I refuse? Eventually we convince her to say "Night Mommy, Night Daddy" and then we know we're golden. We tell her good night and how much we love her.

Then softly close the door and sneak off into the living room to eat caramel popcorn and watch TV. I always KNEW the adults were doing cool stuff once we kids went to bed!

1 comment:

Charles said...

Wow, my whole assumption about how you just toss them into a room and say "Let the darkness envelop you, my child" is WAY off.