Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Four B's

With school starting tomorrow, I have had to crack down on my bedtime routines the past couple of weeks.  I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only mom that finds bedtime a complete test of all patience and sanity.  No, really, I'm not exaggerating in the least.  I end up frustrated and in a bad mood because every button is pushed and every line is crossed by one little girl. 

I hate laying the bedtime antics all on Aubrey Lane, but Jude loves routine and loves bedtime.  He never gives me problem with going to bed.  He may decide to get up at 4:30 or 5am to play, but I can put him back in bed and he goes back to sleep.

However, with AL, the whining begins with the mention of bedtime.  I am FOREVER sending her back down the hallway to her bed, answering the call of  "Mommy, I need you", finding an answer to all her excuses as to why she needs to be out of bed, asking her to quit singing or standing in her bed and playing... Instead of promising sweet dreams and a good night being my last words when I am leaving their room for the night, I'm reminding Aubrey Lane that she will get her bottom spanked if I have to come back there to tell her to be quiet or put her back in bed. 


I don't want my last words for the evening to be promises of discipline.  I want my child to respect my rules and appreciate her routine.  Too much to ask for a four year old??  I don't expect her to be perfect, but I fully believe that she is capable of following rules; and letting her slide in little things leads to bigger things. 

So I started reading and the biggest denominator in all bedtime struggles was routine. Well we have a bedtime routine, but I don't think that I had put enough emphasis on it that AL recognized it as such.  So I got to thinking about my child and how she thrives when she has a concrete plan in place.  Like a to do list of sorts (wonder where she gets that from.. ahem) So I came up with routine complete with verbal steps to be completed in order.

We now have The Four B's of Bedtime
Brush Teeth

During her evening play, about 45 minutes to an hour before bedtime, I will announce that it will be time to start the Four B's soon.  I find that if I give her about a 5-10 minute warning to prepare herself, she does much better.  After we put away most of the toys, she goes to work on the Four B's eager to complete the task. 

On special nights when Aubrey Lane is being resistant, I will bribe her with a bubble bath.  Oh how I would love to just let her take a bubble bath every night, but her eczema says "No".  Don't feel too bad for her- she has a bathtub full of mermaids to makeup for the lack of bubble baths. I have also felt that Jude and AL might be to the age where we can't bathe them together anymore making baths twice the work they were before.  It's easy when Lane is home because while I'm drying and dressing AL, he's bathing Jude.  This is super helpful because sometimes AL's nighttime eczema regimen can be pretty intense.  But there are plenty of nights Lane is working and it's all up to me.  Whew it can be a task-  Who need's a glass of wine to wind down in the evening? After the B's by myself my, I don't need any help winding down.

My littles just love their blankets and I ain't taking them away anytime soon.
And no they do not always have matching pajamas on.  It has really been too hot for more than a t-shirt at nighttime anyway. But I thought dressing them sweet would cheer me up a little.

Once we make it through the Bath and Brush Teeth, I usually let AL pick out a book or two.  The littles LOVE to be read to.  They love the Little Blue Truck books and Dr. Seuss.  Jude really loves Eric Carle too. Lately, I can see where AL is growing up and becoming more of a little girl because she is requesting less board books and more Fancy Nancy.  Then I will finish with a page from our little devotion and prayers in their beds.

This is the devotion I am currently using.  I like the way it's set up.  When AL is a little older, I will probably switch to the children's version of Jesus Calling, but this seems to be just their speed right now. 

There we have The Four B's of Bedtime.

It isn't always Unisom for kiddos.  I still get the occasional request for water or plea to come sleep with me, but things do go a little smoother.

Do you have any special bedtime routine with your little?