We aren’t rigid schedule keepers. Our going-to-bed routine usually starts around 8:00pm ish. It includes good night hugs, kisses, high-fives, knuckle and wrist bumps, for whichever parent is not actually tucking James in. Then we change into jammies or not, it depends on how hot it is. There is tooth brushing, assisted or unassisted, some nights he feels more frown up than others. Then we usually fight over going potty and I force the issue by threatening to take away a bedtime story. Once the story is complete we spend a few minutes snuggling. I actually wind up closing his door….anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour later because the kid is a master staller.
James, by nature, is a night-owl. During our cruise last August, we let him participate in sleep over at the Fun Factory. Sleeping over was a euphemism for kids partying harder than adults into the wee hours, sleeping was not on the agenda. When we got him back to our cabin at 1am and he was wired and HUNGRY. We ordered room service and this is what happened shortly after his food arrived.
If you look closely, you can see that James’s eyes are starting cross. Shortly after, his eyes rolled back in his head and he fell gently to sleep with food in his mouth, sitting up.
We don’t normally let him stay up until 1am, but he’ll do anything to delay. He’ll ask me to search his room for spiders, get up over and over to ask random questions, or complain that anything from mosquitos to wolves are keeping him up. Last night he pulled the “I miss our dog” card, which lead to missing Grandma Molly and shedding copious amounts of tears. I comforted him, knowing full well that I was being a sucker, which added at least a half hour to the going-to-bed routine. He’d talk about paint drying if he thought it would help his cause.
Sometimes though, rarely, he will tell us he is ready to go without any prompting. I was feeling lazy last night, and after he announced that he was ready, I pulled him close and whispered in his ear that he should ask his Daddy to take him to bed. He responded, “Yeah, I’ll ask him to take me to bed and if he says no, I’ll jump on him.” That sounded fine to me.
When he finally does pass out, James sleeps like an angel. He might have his feet on the pillow, or be sliding half-way off the bed with his head on the floor but, he always looks very peaceful.