There are aspects of parenting that I feel like a total pro in. Then, there’s bedtime.
The beginning of Cailena’s bedtime routine is so sweet; I really, really cherish it. Maybe too much… maybe she knows…
It usually starts with a bath; although, if it’s been a rainy or cold day and we’ve been stuck inside, neat and clean, a bath is sometimes skipped.
|Oh, How Sweet It Was!
Then Caily dresses in fluffy, clean pajamas. I turn on her bedroom lamp, read her a nighttime story, followed by lullabies. She picks the story, and the order of the songs we sing. But every song must be sung, and usually this is the order she wants them in:
Oh Danny Boy
The More We Get Together
My God Loves Me
You are My Sunshine
The I Love You song.
Usually, she wants to say prayers in between You are My Sunshine and The I Love You Song, saving her favorite for very last. Sometimes she wants to do the praying, like tonight,
“Dear God. Thank you for safe Daddy. For Friends. ummm….Mommy, ummmm….Tweak… and safe Me! Be Safe. I LOVE YOU GOD!”
And sometimes she wants to listen to me pray a simple prayer on her behalf. If she says the prayers, there better not be any interruptions!
Sounds pretty idyllic so far, doesn’t it?
Then Caily wants a kiss, a hug, a head pat, and a nose rub. In that order. Oh, and her hand has been down my shirt the whole time, did I mention that?
Next, I am asked to send Daddy in so she can give him a goodnight kiss and hug. This is quick and painless; how does he do it?
If Daddy happens to be working night shift, like tonight, there will be 5 minutes of “I love you Daddy! Nigh-Night Daddy! You hearing me Daddy?” Shouted at her bedroom window, followed by a quiet, “Aww, can’t hearing me.”
When Caily is done with all her goodnight rituals, she will take inventory of who is in bed with her. There must be 3 babies, a turtle, a family of ducks who kiss each other before going to sleep, and stuffed dog named Echo, a book or two, a plastic fire truck, and whichever teddy bear is the flavour of the week. If something is missing, there will be tears.
Once everything is safely in bed, it is imperative that her bedroom door stay open, and the hallway light be on. Should the door be mistakenly closed, there will be a great deal of crying. And each night after, the door closer will be reminded, “No close door, otay? Don’ do it again Mom. Make me cry.”
Usually, this is the end to the bedtime saga, but on nights like tonight, she will have to pee.
|Now, Caught out of Bed!|
Caily is three quarters potty-trained now; wanting a diaper only when she needs to poop, and needing one for nighttime sleep. Otherwise, she will not wear a diaper, and to get her into one at bedtime is challenging to say the least. Her getting up to use the potty will result in the stripping of the nighttime diaper, and the fight to get it back on. Not to mention the fact that she probably won’t even pee on the potty; she just wanted to get up. Still, I can’t say no to a potty break, can I?…
After her bum is wiped, toilet flushed and diaper forced back on after impressive Indian Leg Wrestling moves, there will be banshee-like shrieks for about 20 minutes. These shrieks are designed to turn usually sane and responsible mothers into bribing, threatening fools.
A woman, upon hearing these shrieks, might, as happened to me tonight, offer the banshee a ridiculous prize, like a spoon of chocolate sauce to suck on, if she will only please be quiet and go to sleep. My cheeks burn with shame.
After the spoon of chocolate sauce is consumed, the shrieking might, in fact, begin yet again. This might startle the exhausted, sleep-deprived mother in to threatening life-long ice cream bans; she may even consider telling her daughter to quiet down soon, before she wakes up any monsters. Thankfully, this mother still had some wits about her, and that terrible thought was never put into words, other than to write this sentence.
At such a point, recked with guilt, I will lay beside her bed, and scratch her back for 20 minutes. I leave when her chatter makes it obvious that she will not shut her eyes, so long as I am here to keep her company.
Again, our home is subject to 10 minutes of loud sobbing.. and then… quiet.
I creep into her room to check on her, frightened to wake her, but more frightened that the emotional trauma of having to go bed has rendered my daughter unconscious. While fixing her blankets so she receives optimum comfort and warmth, I smell a sickeningly familiar smell.
Caily has pooped.
I wake her up, to change her.
Submitted by: Katie Bickell. Read her blog, Young Mum, here.