Monday, 29 July 2013

Things I Learned From Bedtime Routines

Routine used to be a dirty word in my world. I'm sure I have some subliminal routines in my life but on the whole, I am one of those fidgety sorts, always looking for something new. Not loving routine does not exactly blend well with parenting but it has taught me a few useful and interesting things:

Please Lord, let the kids sleep
Image courtesy of Ambro/ 
I Actually Can Wait For Things
In my LBB (Life Before Babies) I wasn't known for my patience. Waiting is boring. But with kids and particularly the bedtime routine, patience is the only tool that works. Well...and holding your nerve. The what seems like the endless repetitive techniques of silent tucking in, laying down in the room waiting for them to nod off, actually transform into an effective plan. With both of ours, it has taken less than a month to get this buttoned down, until they hit another phase such as teething, upgrading to a toddler bed, moving rooms. It has taken me a few years but I have used this 'wait and good things will happen' approach in other areas of my life, such as losing weight and getting fit, gradually dropping 25lb and completing a 10k race.

Tear Up The 'Mum-time' To Do List
While it's tempting to have a whole host of personal projects waiting for the evening, I learned the hard way not save anything crucial. Banking on the smalls getting their heads down is the path to unnecessary stress. And shouty mummy will definitely not get the kids off any faster!  

Yoga Is Brilliant For Your Escape Plan
Somehow the little one can sense when you're making a move to slide out of the room despite snoring and going all floppy. You can wait 5, 10 or even 20 minutes, think the coast is clear then BAM - as soon as you pass the room threshold out, the tears start up.

Firstly, wearing socks on floor boards is essential. Who would of thought that the sound of feet peeling off varnished wood makes such a penetrating noise? Plus make a mental map of all the creaks in your floor boards.

Secondly, get that core nice and strong. Walk out on your hands using some highly skillful yoga poses. Start slowly with the cat pose, then up into the downward facing dog then warrior pose out of the door.

Kids Are Creepy But It's O.K.
No wonder children have inspired horror movies. They can sleep with one eye open, snoring away, their lids frozen. While you are studying them intensely trying to figure out if they've gone over for good, suddenly...blink, blink. Then there is the sleep-talking, shrieking and irregular breathing patterns. By day, cute little cuddle monsters, by night...Chucky is back.

My Bedtime Stories Are Great But I'm Not J.K. Rowling
Well I think the stories are great with average reviews from the kids. We love a bit of the Gruffalo, Room On The Broom and poems from my childhood. But my favourite thing to do is turn the days events into a 'Once Upon A Time' style story sometimes embellishing adding dragons and fairies. If I am really up for a challenge, I set it to music choosing a catchy tune, tonight's offering was Volare by Dean Martin and flying pink ponies over the hills and sea, to our local park for ice cream. It was wonderful, nonsensical carefree fun and I loved every minute.


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