We started perfecting our bedtime routine when Finn was just a baby. He didn’t sleep and was hard to settle but responded well to the familiar evening routine. It’s a fairly straitforward process of events: bath, snack, tooth brushing, stories and finally, bed. We rarely stray from this game plan and both kids have responded well to the routine.
We have, however, begun to get some push-back from the kids, and I’m thinking we need to update our processes. They are asking to skip the bath, refusing to eat their usual bedtime snack, demanding instead to have goldfish crackers or, heaven forbid, cereal with milk (we just cleaned them up after all). They aren’t drinking their milk and are asking for “one more story”, or to skip the story altogether and watch a show instead.
And once they are settled into their beds, revised snack and additional stories behind them, we get the requests for drinks. But not just any drink, it has to be water. From the bathroom faucet. Nothing else will do. And they have to spill all over themselves, forcing a pajama change. Finally, about two hours after we end this nightly routine, or variation thereof, they fall asleep. I’m not sure how we will manage next year, when Finn starts bringing homework home and we have to add that to the mix.