Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bedtime Rituals

I worked late tonight, but got home just in time to read Ashley Belle her bedtime story. I trudged upstairs to find her waiting for me in the doorway of her bedroom, with her jammies on and her teeth already brushed, and holding tonight's scintillating selection tightly in her chubby little hands.

She had chosen a well-worn version of Where's Spot?, which is a lift-the-flap book about a dog's various hiding spaces. Well, it used to be a lift-the-flap book. The flaps are now gone, having been torn away by multiple toddlers way too excited to prove once and for all that Spot is not, in fact, hiding under the bed, or in the closet, or in the piano, or under the rug. If nothing else, my children are very vigorous flap-lifters.

Now that the flaps are gone, it's not a very challenging exercise to find Spot anymore. Not that it was ever challenging to begin with, but still...what little anticipation there was in finding Spot has long since evaporated.

Nonetheless, Ashley likes "Where's Spot?" to be read to her. A lot.

So I read it. Unenthusiastically, I must admit. It was a long day. I was tired. And hungry. And bored of looking for Spot. And kinda crabby.

Ashley didn't mind. She sighed happily when I finished reading, hopped off the bed, looked up at me with a big smile and said:

"Mommy, I don't want to go to bed."

And I thought, "Oh, here we go." It was not going to be an easy night. I was all ready to whip out my "serious mama" voice and lay down the law that it was bedtime right now, missy.

But then she said, "I just want to dance."

And that stopped me in my tracks. Because spontaneous dancing should always be encouraged, even when it's time for bed.

So we danced.

And when we were done, I was even more tired. But I wasn't crabby anymore.


Brandi said...

I love this post. I have this vision of you guys dancing in her room and I just love it :)

Red said...

lovely. just lovely. those are the moments she's gonna remember about you!

Megan said...

Thanks, Brandi and Red! It was a special moment...it's funny how the most special moments just come totally out of the blue like that. :-)

Kiley said...

That is so sweet! I have implmented a sticker chart for P and it is working so well with getting him to stay in bed after lights are out. For every 5 stickers he gets, he gets a surprise (popsicle or a matchbox car so far) the next day.

Megan said...

Ooh, that's a good idea Kiley! I've tried sticker charts with Ashley before without success, but maybe she'd be more into it now. Hmmm.....