Pumpkin has settled into a really nice bedtime routine. After her bath, we read four stories. Hubby and I take turns reading the stories. The she turns on her music and turns off her light, and I climb into bed with her and listen to four songs. It is always the same four songs and it has to be me- Hubby is only allowed to substitute if I am out for the evening. When her songs are over, I get up and turn her CD off, turn on her air filter (a.k.a., the white noise), and get back in bed and snuggle while I tell her a story I made up for her, "the zebra story". She also snuggles her stuffed zebra for this. She likes to hold his tail, which is getting all worn from the love.
After her story is over, I get up, kiss her forehead, and tell her I love her and goodnight. She tells me bye-bye, and "go type in the guest room for a lot of minutes" (which is what I am doing now). Most nights, she falls asleep with no further fuss. However, if I try to go the other direction from her room, and go do chores in the kitchen, she notices, and invariably calls me back in. I guess she wants me to have time to blog.
Even when I do as I'm told and go type in the guest room, she sometimes calls me back in once or twice. Sometimes, I have to tell the zebra story one more time. I don't really mind- it is a short story. A few weeks ago, she kept calling me back in to tell me what numbers were on her clock, but that has mercifully stopped now. Sometimes, she has to go potty in the middle of the songs. We pause the CD, go potty, and come back. I don't worry about what she does during those four songs. Sometimes, she sings- other songs, not the songs on the CD. Sometimes she talks. Sometimes she asks for her water over and over. Whatever- she knows that she gets me for four songs and one story, and so I figure she can do whatever she wants during that time.
Lately, she has been adding a step to our routine. Once the songs are on and the light is off, she climbs into my lap, wraps her arms around my neck and rocks me side to side, while singing:
Rock-a-bye, grown up, in the tree top
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, down will come grown up, cradle and all
These are sweet times. It is hard to believe that Pumpkin's bedtimes used to be a struggle.