Monday, June 27, 2011

Sweet Dreams, Little One

Bedtime is the one thing I am very particular about in this house. I am determined that we have a consistent bedtime and routine. I also want all my children to have the same storytime, snuggles, and tucking in. Making sure 4 kids 6 and under get read to, snuggled and are asleep before 9 pm is a challenge though. Putting so much time into bedtime isn't much for 1 or 2 kids. A 30 minute reading, snuggle, tuck in routine times 4 is a lot though. It's especially a lot if none of them are sleepy enough to be put to bed at 7 pm. That means you have to overlap the kids.

Putting them to bed, on a typical night, is a tag team event. I start with J4, hubby starts with S6. Whoever is done first, or closest to done at 8 pm goes to get B11 into bed. Next in line for bed is A2. I get baby L, usually last or while I do A2.  Putting them to bed without your "partner" is a bit more work. You never know what kind of things you will end up with. I can't be in 2 places at once so people just have to be patient.

I never know what to expect until I start. A group of obviously tired kids may all just lay there wide awake. This particular trip, on day 1 I started with S6 because she was ready to read. After reading though she had too much to say. Then baby L decided to crawl all over the bed fussing. At 8 pm I had to leave her to get B11 in bed. I take baby L downstairs to play while I do B11 and hopefully S6. Baby L screams the whole time I do B11 so I have to go get her instead of doing S6. I grabbed J4 to get him in bed so I didn't have to go back down for him. He will usually climb in bed and lay there himself for a while. This particular night he wanted nothing to do with that and screamed about it. Baby L's fussing was just getting worse though so I had to make him wait while I got her to sleep. He was not happy about that but he finally quieted down enough for her to fall asleep so I moved onto getting him to bed.  By the time I went back to S6 she was already asleep. That's OK though, because, with hubby out of town she'll be climbing in my bed at 2 am.  Now it is 9 pm before I am finally getting A2, luckily she's ready to go right to sleep.

After the first night you'd think I'd be afraid of bedtime. Certainly I can't be looking forward to it. I am TIRED at the end of the day and go to bed between 9 and 10 so I am always ready for bedtime. Kids
and unpredictable, the next night they could be ready for round 2 or be the complete opposite. Day 2 was certainly interesting. Baby L was again cranky so this time I started with her. J4 was tired too though so climbed in bed with us. 15 minutes later they are both sound asleep. I get B11 in bed real quick then move on to S6. A2 wants mommy though. I pick up A2 and take her with me. To my surprise A2 falls asleep too. It's 8:15pm and I am done.

The next morning, to my surprise, not only did A2 sleep all night in the other bedroom but so did S6.
Of course the 3rd night I forget the unpredictability rule. I try to do a repeat of day 2. Baby L, who was very cranky at 6:30 pm, now wants nothing to do with bedtime. It's not as bad as day 1 though.  J4 at least falls asleep while I'm trying to get her to bed. Baby L at least cooperates by playing nicely with E14 while I get S6 in bed.  A2 again falls asleep with S6 too.

I am also ecstatic that soccer is over. E14's soccer practices were from 7-8:30pm. It's awful hard to put kids to bed at 8 pm when you have to leave to pick another up at 8 pm. The kids with 8 pm bedtimes were not even getting home until 9 pm. Most nights baby L and A2 were falling asleep in the car. Some nights they stayed asleep when you moved them. Some nights they woke up renenergized from their cat nap.

So yes, I am just happy soccer is over. And yes, I do always have to look at the bright side.  I wouldn't give up my snuggle time for anything.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how I understand. I only have two and my feelings about bedtime are mixed between the hardest part and the loveliest part of the day. At the moment we have a routine going. With just two, this is easy. Joseph gets to chose who puts him to bed. This is almost invariably Bill. While Bill puts Joseph to bed, with the reading and praying that goes into that, I start of the routine for Michael. He gets to watch ten or fifteen minutes of Thomas the tank engine while sitting on my lap (okay, sometimes this turns into twenty, because I take my cues from the sounds that come from upstairs. It depends on where the boys upstairs are in their bedtime routine). Then we move to the other room, to read a bit in the rocking chair. After two books, I walk upstairs while singing. Then off into the bed he goes and I leave the room on "I love you's". After that... I sneak into the bedroom of Joseph. We just snuggle for a few minutes together and talk about the day. Then on an I love you... I leave the room.

    That is what it is when all goes well... Lately it has gone well often. But on those days when it doesn't... or when we are tired and the children aren't, it get's hard. And I am wondering how on earth we are going to do it when we have three children and two will have to room together.