The time of day parents have been looking forward to since that first conference call ten minutes after walking in the door at work. A chance to finally have a little time to themselves and peace and quiet around the house.
Though to get there, you have to get through the nightly bedtime routine in all its crazy glory.
If you’re anything like us, you have a bedtime ritual that is as hilarious as it is crazy. Quite simply it’s something only a two year old could concoct in their own creative way.
For us, after the mundane tasks of taking a bath, getting on the PJ’s, and a few other steps, it’s time to settle in to read some books with mom. Before I leave the room, I get my nightly hug, kiss, and “Love you daddy.”
After wiggling out of my arms and onto the floor, he typically goes for a quick drink, as I’m getting ready to close the door I give one more “good night buddy!”
Which turns out is code for initiating his unique bedtime sequence. As he runs over to the door he goes through the following process.
“Hug daddy’s shorts” - [gives my shorts a big hug]
“Hug daddy’s socks” - [crawls onto floor and places his face on my feet, then declares “pee-ew”]
“Hug daddy’s watch” - [in which he runs up and puts his cheek on my watch and smiles from ear to ear]
Until all of the preceding is accomplished, I am not allowed to leave the room. Occasionally, I’m called back for an impromptu audible. Much like last night, when I was called back for a hug of my elbow.
Finally, the book reading can begin and after the negotiated amount of books, he’s ready for bed.
Or so we think.
As my wife puts him in the crib, he begins another routine that would rival any sports star’s performance.
Going through a nightly protocol of:
“Shake mommy’s hand” - [shakes right hand]
“Shake other hand” - [shakes other hand]
“Mommy give big hug” - [requires a large bear hug before goodnight]
At which point bedtime can commence now that he has gone through his routine to his satisfaction.
Toddlers have a memory and imagination beyond anything we can understand. So it’s no wonder they can come up with some pretty crazy things from time to time. As he gets older it’ll be fun to see what he comes up with next.
I just hope he never loses his creativity that we’ve come to love and find so endearing.