Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nighttime Routine

Some of the most darling moments of our day happen while putting the boys to bed.   Although my mantra leading up to that magical hour is usually "Keep Calm...It's Almost Bedtime"...once we're there I don't want to let them go.   They're so sleepy and snuggly (and clean!) after their bath.  I just want to hold them close and smell the tops of their heads.
I guess it has something to do with the day winding down and the routine of getting ready for bed that makes them as sweet as pie this time of the evening...
I went to start the bath water and came back to our room to find the boys laying quietly together.  Max was saying, "Shhh...I've got you sweet baby..." and patting Sullivan's back.  Sully just had a content little smile on his face.  My heart melted into a puddle on the floor.  As soon as they caught me spying they just giggled and squeezed each other tighter.
This is not to say that our bedtime is a completely serene experience each night.  Generally, Billy and I switch back and forth between the boys rooms a hundred times. Chasing naked bottoms down the hall and trying to get squirmy legs into footy pajamas once they're out of the bath.  


Max likes to brush Sullivan's hair for him.   Followed by kisses and hug and a "Good job, baby!" for standing still.
Max has really shown Sullivan the ropes with regard to tactics that delay getting pj's on.  In this photo Max snuck him into the closet and instructed him to "cover his eyes".  Sully clearly ruined the plan here by not following the last instruction.
 Next we have to get teeth brushed and negotiate with Max on the number of books we'll read.  And then tear Sullivan's room apart to find one (just ONE!) of the 14 pacifiers we know exist in this house.
More tactics to delay getting pajamas on.  They know I really don't like to interrupt them when they're playing so well together...
But soon the lights are dimmed and we turn on our nighttime music.  Max tells me elaborate stories about pirates and tigers as we sit in his big chair together (this boy's mouth and imagination never stop). Sullivan lays his head on my shoulder and holds onto my arms like there's no one he'd rather have holding him.  I think to myself that this is what life is all about. 
Dear Max and Sullivan, when I finally lay you down in your beds I draw circles on your backs and recite the "Little Boat" poem.  Max, I've done this every night since you were six months old and Sullivan since you were born.  I hope one day you'll say this poem to your children as they nod off to sleep.  And that you'll look at them and know the kind of love that I feel for you.
My whole heart,
The Little Boat
Little boat, no bigger than your hand.
Out on the ocean, far away from land.
Take the little sail down.
Light the little light.
This is the way...
To the garden...
In the night.

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