These are the three things my daughters must get done every night before bed. Sometimes I feel like I say this a million times a night and other nights I only have to say it once. Every night after their showers, it is clothes, hair, teeth.
After a shower they have to put on pajamas or what we call night-night clothes. They have to brush their hair and then brush their teeth.
After reading a book, hearing a story from Dad or watching TV, they get a drink of water, go to the bathroom and go to bed.
Then the tucking in phase of getting to bed begins. Lizzie has a very specific routine for this part of the evening. It began when she moved into a ‘big girl’ bed and there has only been additions, not changes.
She has one pink blanket that was given to me at one of her baby showers. It is silky on one side and fuzzy on the other with a tag on one end. When you tuck her in, the tag goes toward her feet and the fuzzy side goes up. Later she acquired a Life Is Good blanket that has a pattern of chicks on it. You MUST put the chick facing up and the plain side down.
The third blanket is a Dora the Explorer blanket she used for nap/rest time in preschool. This can go on any way, it is the same picture on both sides. The final blanket is a Tinkerbell blanket with arms. The arms go toward her legs and the blanket side is by her face.
After this daily routine of piling on blankets, she kisses me goodnight, once on each cheek. I then tuck in her sister who usually has a different set of blankets each night with the constant being her purple Tinkerbell fairy blanket.
Then begins the “Good night, I love you.” phase. The girls and I say “Good night, I love you.” back and forth at least a dozen times. I add in a “Lizzie, good night, I love you.” and an “Evelyn, good night, I love you.” Then I close the door and pray they fall asleep fast and that I don’t have to go back in and tell them to be quiet or to leave each other alone.
Every night I have done this routine. If I wasn’t there, whoever tucked Liz in had to go through it and trust me, if anyone missed any part of the routine, she let us know and it got done. There is no “too bad, go to bed, we will do it the way you want to tomorrow.” Nope.
Every night I love bed time. And not just because my kids are in bed and there will be some peace and quiet in the house for a few hours. I love bed time because I love the routine. I love telling them “clothes, hair, teeth” like it is a secret code. I love making sure the covers are on just right and the night lights are all on the right way. I love the kisses and the hugs and the “Good night, I love you.” It gives me a moment to be thankful for my children and to reflect on how fast they are growing. Soon they will all be too big to tuck in and may not want the night lights and the blankets. But for now they are my babies and by tucking them in at night I will let them know that they are safe and they are loved.