Does your bedtime routine actually work?

The bedtime routine has taken on a sort of magical status in our house in that I dare not depart from it in fear that the kids would not go to sleep. However, I’m starting to wonder if it is as effective as I imagine. Herewith, a dramatisation of a typical evening in our house.

18:00 BST

Mum: It’s bathtime!

4yo: Nooooooo! You need to have a picnic with me and then I need to tidy the picnic away!

Mum: Fine. Drinks imaginary drinks and pretends to eat plastic food. Finished! Now it’s bathtime.

4yo: I just need to tidy up the picnic. Very carefully proceeds to put all the plastic food in the plastic picnic basket. Then very … slowly … folds the tiny picnic blanket in a tiny square shape.

Mum: Ok NOW it’s bathtime.

4yo: But but but…

Mum: I will remove pasta from your reward jar! 4yo begins running up the stairs. Hey you, 1yo, it’s bathtime.

1yo: In manner of Churchill Dog Oh no no no no.

Mum picks up 1yo old and carries up stairs as 1yo arches back and impersonates a piece of timber.

18:15 BST

Mum: 4yo, please sit on the toilet.

4yo: I’m too tired.

Mum: The sooner you go to the toilet, the sooner you can go to sleep. Pulls down 4yo pants and places him on toilet. Removes the rest of his clothes in anticipation of bathtime. Hey, 1yo, let’s get you ready for bathtime!

1yo: Oh no no no! 1yo runs away and hides in a corner. Mum picks him up and takes him to his changing mat while he once again impersonates a piece of wood. Removes clothes from 1yo and places him on his potty.

Mum: Hey, 4yo, are you done on the toilet?

4yo: singing whilst remaining on toilet Tomblibooooo Tombli Tombli boooooooo!

Mum: Runs bath. If you’re done on the toilet, you should get off the toilet!

1yo: cackles as he pushes toilet seat aggressively onto 4yo.

4yo: Oooow! Brother hurt my back!

Mum: THEN GET OFF THE TOILET. 4yo gets off the toilet. Now brush your teeth. 4yo brushes teeth and fed up mum wordlessly lifts him up and deposits him into the bath. Ok 1yo, now it’s your turn to brush your teeth.

1yo: Oh no no no no.

Mum picks up 1yo and places him on the stool by the sink. 4yo impersonates jelly and melts down onto the floor. Mum tries to pick up 1yo. 1yo returns to wood impersonation. Mum lays 1yo down on lap and forcibly brushes teeth, then places 1yo in the bath.

4yo: My brother is stealing all the bubbles! Aggressively moves all the bubbles to his side of the bath.

1yo: Screams because he has no f*cking bubbles

Mum: Pours water over both children’s heads. Washes hair and body whilst ignoring screams and protestations.

18:45 BST

Mum: Time to get out of the bath!

1yo: Oh no no no no!

Mum: forcibly removes wood-like toddler from bath, dresses him and leaves him in his bedroom. Ok 4yo, it’s time for you to get out too.

4yo: But I just need to finish making this volcano. Mum watches while 4yo fills a cup with water and then covers it with a flannel.

Mum: Ok, now let’s get out. I’m going to count to three. 1 … 2 …

4yo: In mortal fear of reaching three, opens the drain of the bath and gets out. Runs into bedroom with towel and hides underneath it. I need to be a pillow!

Mum: Pretends to use towel-wrapped 4yo as a pillow (like every night) Wow, this pillow is sooo comfy. Ok now put on your pajamas.

No response. Mum picks up 4yo and applies his pajamas while he ignores her and attempts to build a bus stop out of Duplo bricks.

Right, now play in your room while I get your brother to sleep.

19:00 BST

Mum reads stories to 1yo and actually enjoys this bit, with cuddles and giggles. Then she lets him drink a large quantity of water. Then she sings Twinkle Star and places him into bed with appropriate toys and dummy. Turns musical projection mobile on. Does secret prayer that this bedtime ritual will work tonight.

Mum: Night night, sleep tight, Mummy loves you, see you in the morning. Magical phrase must be repeated exactly the same each night.

19:10 BST

Mum reads no less than 4 stories with 4yo while he offers continual non-stop explanation of all the illustrations. 4yo gets in bed and mum turns the Gro Clock on (VERY IMPORTANT).

Mum: Would you like a song tonight?

4yo: Yes but it has to be a NEW song that you haven’t sung before.

Mum: But I have already sung you all the songs I’ve ever known.

4yo: Fine, then just sing “Summer of ’69” again.

Mum: I got my first real six-string, bought it at the five and dime, played it ’til my fingers bled, was the summer of ’69! Mum continues to do her best Bryan Adams impersonation while 1yo starts crying in the other room. Okay, big boy, time for sleep. Kisses 4yo.

4yo: 4yo kisses Mum precisely 5 times on the cheek in return and then shouts, Weird!!!

Mum: Night night, sleep tight, mummy loves you, see you when your sun comes up. Runs next door and puts 1yo back in bed.

19:30 BST

Mum goes downstairs, cleans up toys, does the washing up, puts a load of washing on, pours a drink and sits down to watch telly and/or blog. She hears a squeaking doorknob and crying. She runs upstairs and puts 1yo back in bed. Goes back downstairs, takes a drink.

19:40 BST

4yo: shouting from his bed I NEED A POO!!

Mum: Shouting back from downstairs THEN JUST GO!!

19:55 BST

4yo: Still on the toilet, singing Tomblibooo, tombli tombli boooooo!

1yo: Waaaaaa! Mummy mummy mummy!

Mum: runs upstairs. 4yo, please get off the toilet. Puts 1yo back in bed. 4yo is still on the toilet. Mum has to physically remove him from the toilet and assist with wiping and hand washing. Puts 4yo back into bed. Then puts 1yo back into bed again.

20:05 BST

Mum goes downstairs and gets in a solid 10 minutes of blogging. 

20:15 BST

CRASH BANG! Mum runs upstairs. Toddler has removed all the clothes from his wardrobe and wedged a toy lightsaber behind the radiator. Mum tidies up, puts toddler back in bed, and goes downstairs. 

20:30 BST

4yo:  Shouting from his bed again Mummmmyyyyy! My covers are all messed up.

Mum: runs upstairs, fixes 4yo’s slightly disarrayed covers. You know, you could fix these yourself.

4yo: I love you mummy.

Mum: I love you too now please please please go to sleep!

1yo: Waaaaaaa! Mum puts 1yo back into bed again.

21:00 BST

All is finally quiet. At last, mum can do some writing, maybe watch Bake Off. She finishes her glass of wine and falls asleep drooling on the sofa.

What’s bedtime like in your house?

bedtime-pinterest

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26 thoughts on “Does your bedtime routine actually work?

  1. Much easier for us as just the one little one here! Normally bath at 615ish then pyjamas, then milk, then brush teeth, kiss and dummy. In bed about 7pm, few minutes of murmering away about something and that’s it!! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a funny post. After just finishing bedtime in my house I felt this was an appropriate piece to read. I love how 4yo carefully tidies his toys away right at the start, bet it’s not that smooth when asking normally. My bedtime routine is usually pretty straight forward – toddler usually in bed for 8 after an hours bedtime prep and unwinding, and on a good night asleep within 15 minutes #KCACOLS

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    1. Well obvs I took poetic licence – they do go to sleep nicely sometimes. And I should add that 4yo tidied up that one thing nicely but it was a drop of water in the toy tsunami that had overtaken the lounge floor! Thanks for reading 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hehe and this is why my hubby is right that one is enough!! our bedtime routine is mostly fine. he faffs quite a bit now that he is three but on the whole he’s good #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh hun this made me giggle (sorry!) as it reminds me of bedtime in our house a few years ago. We’re now at the stage where I send the boys to bed and they just go, I ignore the fact that they read til 9pm or play in their rooms til late. My boys are 7 and 12 so I really have no control over when they go to sleep! Great post. x
    #FamilyFun

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  5. Haha. So funny. My daughters bedtime routine is none existent at the minute because she never sleeps 😦 Fab post.
    #familyfun

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  6. Hahah your bath time sounds very similar to ours. Coupled with lots of naked running around refeusing to put pjs on and a screams 1yo fighting nappy application. We also have a ritual good night mummy loves you etc etc. I don’t think they care but I feel wrong if I don’t say it. Anyway as I wrote this it’s 9.04 by which point you should have a glass of wine in hand and be firmly plonked on the sofa!! Enjoy! thanks for sharing at #familyfun xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha! And there I was thinking it was hard work trying to get my 8 month old in a nappy and dressed after his bath, I’ve got all this to come!!! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

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