Bedtime routine

You don’t need to know a lot about babies and kids to know that sleep is a hot topic. In fact, you don’t need to know anything about them, you’ll still know this. So I thought I’d write something about our bedtime routine. Maybe it will help someone. Ha ha.

So here’s a sample evening:

19:00 We have dinner. Imp 1 probably won’t eat anything. Maybe a tomato. She’ll make sure the table looks like she ate everything and everywhere. Imp 2 will wake up the second I try to take a bite. So I breastfeed him and either eat while I do that or, if it’s hot soup, eat after he is done, which leaves Imp 1 more time to wreak havoc.

19:30/45 Time for bathroom stuff. Going to the potty. Brushing teeth. Is she overtired? You’ll know when she refuses to brush her teeth. If she merely flicks the toothbrush away after sucking of the toothpaste she’s still good to go. Also important: assess how dirty the Imps are and possibly bathe them. Then diaper, pyjama, brush hair, off to bed.

20:00 Imp 2 lies all the way to the right of the bed. Imp 1 is running in circles on the remainder of the bed.

20:10 Imp 1 wants milk. Short breastfeeding session. Then we read.

Now here is where husband’s and my techniques differ. I’m smarter than him. I have already hidden a few books. Because she will want to read all of the books in the room. And she spends her free time squirreling away books to the bedroom. Also: he doesn’t breastfeed.

20:40 Imp 1 yawns loudly while she hands you book 7. Imp 2 is getting a bit restless. He has fully explored both of his hands.

20:50 Imp 1 wants to cuddle Imp 2. Imp 2 accepts this for a while and then cries.

21:00 Imp 2 gets to lie on my lap, so Imp 1 gets upset and cries because she wants to lie there. a) I can distract her with a book and can breastfeed Imp 2 and he’ll fall asleep or b) they both start crying and see who can be louder, which leads to either b1) husband comes and takes Imp 2 and puts him in a carrier or b2) husband plays deaf and eventually I rock/sing my way to a)

21:15 I’m basically done for the day, so I convince Imp 1 that we should listen to some music or a story. Until recently I’d sing to her but then she realised she can have professionals sing for her at the touch of a button and no longer needs my amateur services.

21:45 Despite past experiences I am hopeful that Imp 1 is about to doze off. She senses me letting my guard down and jumps out of bed to pull all of her shirts and sweaters out of her closet and to do some cute as heck kid yoga moves.

22:00 Disappointed that she couldn’t convince me to downward toddle with her, Imp 1 will try to get access to more milk. Refusal will be met with crying or demands for bananas. She is the only one in the house who doesn’t know how exhausted she is.

22:15 We cuddle, continue listening to bedtime music, she is holding on to my ears (no idea why, it’s new).

22:30 I’m asleep. She’s probably still going.

23:30 Husband comes to check in on me or bring back Imp 2. I pretend I never fell asleep. “Oh hey, I was just about to come and ask if you want to watch a movie.” He doesn’t buy it for a minute. Nor should he.

00:00 Finally some time to get the house and the cats ready for the night. Blergh. Upside: I am wide awake now and the coffee machine will be prepared in the morning. Downside: I can’t fall back asleep.

01:00 I fall asleep.

01:10 Imp 2 wakes up for his first night feed.

Here are some alternate scenarios:

1) I decide in the morning that I want an early-ish night so I can have some me time. We skip nap time. I spend the afternoon trying to keep an overtired toddler entertained. The house is in shambles. Husband decides he is doing nighttime to do me a favour. She’s asleep by 20:00. Thanks to the exhausted toddlertaining so am I. Good night.

2) Husband takes over nighttime. I only have to take care of Imp 2. He spits up all over my wool sweater and couch. The sweater is handwash. I just washed all the couch cushions the week before. When husband comes downstairs again, I am just about done getting the house ready. I go to bed.

So you see, we’ve got it all figured out. In the end, someone is asleep. Often more than one of us. No one goes to sleep alone. Someone may wish that she had had a minute alone. But then she wouldn’t have been fed make believe food from a book.

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