Making Time: Bedtime Buddies
Hopefully we’ll actually get some sleep

“Daddy, I want to be a helper with Adam’s bedtime tonight. I think he will have more fun with me there.”

Before kids, I never thought putting your kids to bed every night could be both so challenging and so fun at the same time. Generally, Sarah and I rotate nights. This way each of the boys has “special time” with each of us. And Adam, being the little brother, goes to bed before Brandon, of course. Recently, there was a night that Sarah had a meeting, so I did both bedtimes. This time, Brandon decided he wanted to join in the fun.

The first challenge with Adam’s bedtime is getting him to actually go upstairs. Even though he isn’t even 2 yet, he has already started to learn the art of stalling. It used to be that we could just mention the word “bedtime” and he would make a beeline for the staircase (which has a safety gate at the bottom). But lately, he looks at us in his Adam way and says a long winded, “Noooooo.” Tonight, Brandon declared that it was time to go upstairs and headed the right way, so Adam (who shadows absolutely all things Brandon does), followed.

At the bottom of the steps I heard Brandon ask, “Adam, do you want to brush your teeth with me?” Adam got a big smile on his face and started saying “teef” over and over. Brandon followed up, and Adam shook his head and said “yes” emphatically. They raced up the steps, giggling along the way, and I brought up the rear. It’s so special as their dad to just stand back and watch their bond grow.

When we all got upstairs, we headed into Adam’s room and chose pajamas. Adam has some strong opinions: He knew he didn’t want to wear dinosaurs or tractors, but he was all about Mickey Mouse (which he also pronounces in his own cute mumbling Adam way). Brandon got excited and said, “Oh, I’ll go get my Mickey Mouse pajamas and we can match. Daddy, you should get ones to match us too.” I think I’ll pass for now, thank you.

While I changed Adam, he fidgeted with a bottle of lotion and pointed to his head and his ears, and insisted that I put some cream on his “belly, belly, belly.” Brandon returned all dressed, which distracted Adam from the cream, and we headed to the bathroom.

The boys hopped up on their step stools and were ready to brush their “teef.” Again, Adam being Mr. Independent wanted to help put the toothpaste on (making a huge mess that was not helpful at all) and then tried to brush his own teeth, which is really more like biting the toothbrush over and over. Brandon, on the other hand, is not so bad for a now 5-year-old.

When we were done, we went back to Adam’s room for storytime. Brandon sat on one knee, and Adam on the other. Brandon let Adam choose the book for the night, and he decided on “zoo,” pointing to his shelf so we would read “Dear Zoo.” We read the pages with Brandon trying to help read too. On each page, we made animal sounds as Adam lifted each flap. The boys laughed and laughed at the silly sounds, but the sounds of their laughter were the best. At that moment, the rest of the world didn’t matter. I loved every giggle. It was just me, my 2 boys, a book and their happiness.

When we finished reading (there were about 2 more stories, 1 is never enough), it was time for bed. Brandon helped me put Adam in the crib. He gave him a high five, a big hug and said “night, night Bubba” – a nickname I’ve called Adam since he was a baby. Adam smiled, waved back, blew us a kiss and laid down hugging his Mickey Mouse and Pluto stuffed animals for me to rub his back. I left, and Adam fell asleep nicely for the night and all was right with the world. (Kidding, I had to return about 2 more times before he actually settled.)

March 2022
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