It is amazing how fast time flies. I have been meaning to write this post for a while, but I kept thinking, Harper is going to be doing this routine for the rest of her life, so I don’t need to rush to record it. How wrong I was! We have recently returned from our summer vacation (working on posts for that now!), and while we were gone, our routine was lost. We got home and Harper has just grown up more! She now tells me when she is ready to go to bed (I realize this probably won’t last very long), and she will get her babies and paci (yes, she still has one) and climb up into bed to wait for us to read her ONE book and sing her ONE song.
So, before we left for vacation, here is what bedtime looked like:
We would put the boys to bed, and then Harper would have about 30-45 minutes with just Mom and Dad. We would usually eat a snack and snuggle on the sofa. Depending on who’s turn it was to put H to bed, Chris or I would coax Harper upstairs to brush her teeth and go potty. (I have to admit, Chris and I would kind of push bedtime duty on each other because it was a looooongg routine, but now that the routine has come to an end, I find myself trying to extend it a bit by singing an extra song or reading one more book)
Harper would have to get paci (which is in the bed) and Baby Carol (which could be anywhere in the house). If I was on my game, I would remember to look for her before we would start bedtime routine, but usually, I was soooo tired, I would forget and we would spend a bit of tiem looking for BC.
We would then pick out 2-3 books to read. Then say prayers. Then sing 2 songs. Usually Jesus Loves Me and The Birdie Song. We would kiss and turn out the lights. Oh, and we can’t forget the last sip of water that would always pop into Harper’s head as soon as she was snug as a bug in a rug. Thankfully, I keep a sippy cup by her bed, so I don’t have to go into the bathroom or kitchen to get one. I would kiss her again, re-tuck her in, and then, as I’m leaving, Harper would always say this…
H: “Mommy, is there thunder and lighting (not lightening) tonight?”
Me: “No, Baby. Not tonight. (or if there was, I would tell her there might be but Mommy and Daddy are right here and Jesus is always with her, too).
H: Okay, well, if I need you I will say (and she would yell this as if she were in practice mode) Mommy, I need to go potty. Or Daddy, I need to go potty. Or Mommy, I need some water. Or Daddy I need some water. Or Mommy, I need to rock. Or Daddy, I need to rock.” (she would say all of that in what seemed like one breath, quite loudly- and it would always make Chris and me laugh)
Me: Okay, Harper. We’ll be right here as always.
H: Okay, well, leave the door a teeny, tiny, little bit cracked and leave the light on out in the hallway.
Me: Of course I will.
After a few weeks of saying ‘leave the light on out in the hallway’ she would go ahead and add my comment onto hers. So she would say, ‘…well leave the light on out in the hallway of course you will. ‘ haha!
Me: I love you so much, Harper Grace.
H: I love you too, Mommy.
Me: Night night, sleep tight.
Then, I would leave the door a teeny tiny little bit cracked and the laundry room light on and go downstairs. Only occasionally would she call me back, and I usually knew exactly why – only when we would leave out part of our nightly conversation… if she forgot to ask about thunder & lighting or to leave the light on… I could usually count on it.
Children are so funny, and while their routines can sometimes feel like you are stuck in the Groundhog’s Day movie, they are reassuring and comforting to them. Appreciate every day because it could be the last time that routine is ever done. I know I will hang onto them a bit more now.