I’m not usually the bedtime guy. After being with me all day, Max wants 100% mom time, from the moment she walks in the door until the lights go off at night, so she gets the lion’s share of bedtimes. But I try to do one or two a week. You would think I would be gung-ho and enthusiastic to do bedtime when it’s my shift, but there’s some small sense of dread that shows up instead.
A part of it is the little dude’s reaction to finding out I’m the bedtime guy that night. When he’s really tired, a great caterwauling shrieks out of his small body, assaulting the ears and emotions of both my wife and me. I figured out a few weeks ago that the misery only lasts until we start heading upstairs, and at that point, he accepts that this is inevitable and the tears magically vanish. So that’s not the main issue.
And the actual bedtime routine is pretty nice and easy. Tonight it took 40 minutes from tearful ascent to fully asleep. During that time, we read 4 books together while he ate his bedtime snack. He cheerfully brushed his teeth, and that used to be a battle just a few months ago, so there’s another sign of his mom’s great parenting skills. If it had been left to me, the boy would have very fuzzy teeth. After brushing his teeth and giving his face a wipe, we went back into his room, and he happily turned off the light and snuggled into bed. After 5 minutes of lying in the dark beside him, he fell fast asleep. So when you look at it, there’s nothing unpleasant about the routine itself.
I suspect that the majority of my bedtime avoidance is rooted in memories of previous bad nights. There was a time where the very mention of bed time would lead to an unstoppable howling from a boy who would actively resist all attempts to put on pajamas. And when he was still in his crib, the battle to lull him to sleep and keep him asleep made me a nervous wreck. I was perpetually on edge, desperately hoping that he wouldn’t wake up after bedtime. I do not fondly remember those times.
So, long story short: the young man is wonderful and pretty good at going to bed, and I have to remember that. On an unrelated note, we measured his height today and he’s 41 inches tall. Holy moley. He is more than half my height.