this is how her bedtime goes:
she takes my hand and follows me into her room. we close the blinds and pull her new blackout curtains shut – it’s 8:30 p.m. but in summer, there will be light outside for another hour. she puts on her pajamas. she only has two real pairs of pjs. there’s an elmo-with-polka-dots set and a pink-with-glitter-cupcakes set that always reminds me of the candy kingdom in adventure time. sometimes she goes to bed in whatever clothes she has been wearing all day. I put on a clean diaper backwards, with the straps curling around to the back, so she can’t take it off in the middle of the night and poop in her bed (again).
she gets to pick out stories. she goes over to her bookcase and picks out a handful. she would read stories all night, if we let her. lately she’s been begging for multiple rereads of our new library book, sophie’s fish. her current favorites are monsters love underpants, bunny my honey, dinosaur dance, bunny-roo I love you, and the five little bunnies. a big fan of bunnies, this girl. we sit in the rocking chair and read.
when we’re done reading, we take the bottle of lavender-scented baby lotion and rub lotion on her hands and feet. she usually likes to take a lick, too. then lately, she leans back against me and we rock for a minute and talk about our day. the things we did. the things we’ll do tomorrow. rock, rock, she begs, but it’s time for goodnight hugs and kisses. we play a game. I kiss each eye, each eyebrow, each hand and foot and elbow and ankle. I kiss her tummy and hair and chin. then she goes into her crib, where she has puppy, her pacifier, and her lamby lovie, and her blanket, and a bottle of milk, and she curls up on her side because she wants me to rub her back.
our bedtimes haven’t always been this elaborate. usually it’s just stories, lotion, and hugs and kisses. but she’s needed more love and attention at nights since the baby came.
this is how his bedtime goes:
we take off his onesie and lay him down on our bed. he gets a diaper change, which makes him smile. boy loves diaper changes. then he gets lotion, johnson’s pink baby lotion. a classic. we rub lotion on his tummy and arms and legs and back and over his wispy head. he wiggles and wiggles and cooes and sighs. then he gets a fresh sleeper. my favorite is the green striped sleeper with monster feet. then I sit back against the headboard of the bed and he gets snuggled in my arms for our nightly cluster feed. he’ll nurse from the time we go to bed – or before – until around 10:30 or 11.
eventually he’ll fall asleep, and I’ll lay him down in his nest. then I’ll fall down into bed, very tired, and talk and watch an episode of something silly with my husband. bedtime is my favorite time of the day. just because of how nice it is to spend that time connecting with them, and talking to them. it’s a good end to the day.