My Own Slice of Life on Bedtime Routines
My daughter is now two years old and bed time is still an issue… every night. Since moving into our new house, my little tiny girl sleeps in a great big full size bed. There are lots of pillows, both for sleeping on and decoration. She calls some of the pillows hers and others “Mommy’s pillows.” Every night she wants me to lie on “my” pillows as she puts her head down on hers in a bed big enough for both of us to fit quite comfortably. We lie on our sides and face each other and she puts her arm around my neck and I can see her bright, beautiful eyes staring into mine by the blue glow of her night light. She smiles at me and says, “I love you Mom.” Then she always pauses and then says, “so much.” I always respond by saying “I love you so much Evie.” She tightens her grip around my neck and we lay there together comfortably and peacefully. All of the talking and trips in the car and battles over which shoes to wear and tantrums from the day are at rest. She doesn’t have to share me with her brother or with her dad or with a phone call or an e-mail. She has me all to herself and I have her, just mom and daughter ending our day together. Soon she starts to scan my eyelashes with the tip of her finger and her eyelids start to look heavy. Next, she shifts on to her back and pushes her face right up against mine and folds her arm back up around my neck. We lay there together until I can tell she is asleep and then I slip out of her room without her noticing. I always feel a little sad leaving her there in that giant bed all by herself with no one to hug. I’m usually guaranteed a middle of the night visit when she wakes and calls for me to help her get back to sleep. My husband seems totally irritated with the whole process. He thinks that by now, at two years old, she should kiss us good night and head up to her bed, close her eyes, and go to sleep all by herself. Maybe that’s what other two year olds do. It has caused some turmoil in our house, this bedtime routine. It seems to be an issue to everyone else, but not to her and I. Ever since her little brother came along five months ago, I can feel her fighting for time alone with me and during the day and busy evening hours there isn’t always unshared time. So, I’ve decided that although it may be an issue for my husband or maybe my mom thinks I’m doing bedtime all wrong or even though the doctor advises against it, I think that our bedtime routine is special and sweet and perfect and I’m not willing to give it up. Maybe, just maybe, I need that unshared time with my Evie just as much as she needs it with me. Maybe I even need it more.