When you think of night-time routines for children, does that conjure up images of cuddling up in the rocking chair, reading a bedtime story, and your child slowly drifting asleep in your arms as you rock them gently?
Maybe it was like that at first with Big Brother, but NOT ANYMORE!
No, around here, it's like herding cattle to get 3 boys into the tub; one of them always goes astray, screaming in protest, and someone is usually running around frantically (and naked), trying to find a favorite toy. Then when they're in the tub, there's usually splashing at tidal-wave levels.
And trying to get ahold of a child to wash them is like trying to catch grease-lightning.
We'd probably have better luck filling up a Super-Soaker with bubble bath, and just shooting in the direction of the tub. After emptying about three clips, everyone will be
And then you can use another water-only Super-Soaker for rinsing.
Fortunately, when everyone's out of the tub, they tend to get jammied-up pretty quick owing to being cold.
And then comes the brushing of the teeth. Big Brother and Little Brother have finally said "uncle" when it comes to this (and Little Brother will actually use non-trainer toothpaste--that was a battle of it's own), and are cooperative.
But not Bab-E Brother. It's like hog-tying cattle trying to brush the few chompers that he has.
You pretty much have to restrain all 4 limbs (I prefer a Figure-Four leg lock), and he excersizes his lungs while you brush.
And he's not a huge fan of bedtime stories. Sometimes he'll sit for 30 seconds and let you read to him (if the book has something fuzzy for him to pet).
If not, he usually throws the book (more on his throwing obsession later this week), and is off and running like a toot-in-a-skillet.
And when it comes to the rocking chair, he has absolutely no interest.
Instead, Bab-E Brother insists on going to our room for more pre-sleep play time. (Meanwhile his older brothers are usually running amok).
He "winds-down" by:
1) Jumping on the bed, to the tune of our Jump Song
2) Doing "Trust Falls" onto our bed (he starts in a standing position on the bed and then we let him fall backwards). He's even starting to try to say "Fall".
3) Smacking Mom-E or I with a decorative bed pillow, after which we pretend to fall over like a boxer who just took a sucker-punch.
All of this meets with roars of laughter that you just want to bottle-up and store.
Only after 1-3) above will he agree to be cradled, after which we dance with him to "Party Music" from the TV.
Within 5 minutes, he's calm with heavy eyelids, and makes no fuss when you put him in his crib.
Strange as it sounds (you'd think it'd hype him up like mad), this is the routine that works for him.
What do your nightly routines look like?
Have a good week,