Monday, February 13, 2017

Parenthood: Week 191 – The Bedtime Routine

Bedtime routines change and evolve. Within the structures of our lives, Ollie falls into different habits and breaks out of old habits regularly. Sometimes these changes occur without a lot of thought and other times, these routines develop out of specific needs.

A couple of weeks ago, Ollie and I were working through a cold. To help ease his cough, before bath, I would turn the shower on as hot as it would go so me and Ollie could get some time in the steam to loosen our coughs. In order to get Ollie to hang out in the bathroom with me, I introduced him to Mario Run on my iPhone. And now, weeks later, Ollie expects watching me play Mario Run as part of his bedtime routine.

Here’s where we are at right now. After we eat dinner, Ollie will request to go poo, and insist that Diana reads books with him when he’s doing his business. When he’s done, Ollie will come downstairs to get me (sometimes without pants) to help him with his shower.

We’ve gone back and forth with Ollie taking a bath with Diana or a shower with me. Sometimes he prefers the bath and other times he prefers the shower. Lately, he’s been more into the shower. Taking a shower with my son, was one of those experiences, I didn’t expect and its fun in general. The shower does get crowded with a toddler and all of his toys. And having a soapy little one playing at your feet while you clean yourself does take away from the relaxing vibe of an evening shower. However, in general it’s fun to have this time to spend with him.

After the shower, we get dressed and he watches me play a Mario Run level on my phone. Then it’s time to brush teeth. One of the ways, we got Ollie to brush his teeth was with this Elmo tooth brushing song:

At a certain point, I got sick of this song and started showing him other clips. He’s been into Elton John videos, Pixar shorts, film trailers and now he’s really into videos of people playing Mario Run (this is also why one of his favorite games to play currently is pretending to be Bowser and chase his friends around the playground).

Then it’s story-time. Ollie instructs me “you warm up the bed, and I’ll get mommy.” I get into Ollie’s bed, while he runs downstairs to get Diana. After choosing some books, we all snuggle in his bed. We barely fit, but after scooting around and some tetris-ing, we make it happen.

After two or three books, either me or Diana leaves and the other one stays with Ollie. If it’s Diana that stays with Ollie, he will ask her to help him recap the day. This is a very cute thing that Diana has been doing with Ollie since the day he was born. She will tell him what he did that day and as Ollie has gotten older, this has become more interactive. If I’m the one to stay with Ollie, it’s more story-time in the dark. I have a couple stories that he likes to hear. There’s a version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears with a Zebra subbing in for the Goldilocks. There’s a story about an apple which is basically It’s Not Easy Being A Bunny with fruits and vegetables instead of animals. His current favorite is Silly Bowser, which is my retelling of the plot of Mario Run.

Sometimes there’s some squirming and some silliness. At times he just runs around the house screaming after story-time. However most of the time, he goes to sleep without a lot of drama. Sometimes Diana or me fall asleep with Ollie while we are snuggling with him in bed. It’s actually a really wonderful way to fall asleep. We rely on the other one to get us up so we don’t sleep for too long (when this does happen, it can mess up the evening and our sleep cycles as Ollie goes to bed three or four hours earlier then we do).

This is where we are at right now.  There are some things I'm not a huge fan of, like the Mario Run viewing and other parts, I love like snuggling with him in in bed that I cherish.

One routine that hasn't changed since the day he was born is that before I got to bed, hours later, I kiss Ollie and whisper to him as he sleeps, "Goodnight my special little guy.  Daddy is very proud of you and daddy loves you."

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