Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sing a song at bedtime

A and I have established a rock-solid bedtime routine, and she loves it so much she won't let me budge from it. We start by picking her clothes for the next day and laying them out on the floor. She then hands me each piece and I help her put them on. Yes, I am admitting here that my daughter wears her clothes to bed. She doesn't like jammies and I don't mind having her dressed when she wakes up. And heck, it's not like she's wearing tights or jeans--virtually all her clothes are soft jersey knits.

Once she's dressed, she crawls onto my lap and we read two library books. She likes to have her sister sitting on the table next to the chair, but sometimes Z heads elsewhere to hear Daddy read her a chapter from the Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events book series.

After two books, A slides off my lap and uses the potty, "earning" herself a third book me a little piece of mind. A stopped wearing Pull-Ups to bed a couple of months ago. About two weeks after we purchased an 88 count box of them, conveniently enough. She doesn't have accidents, but most nights she wakes up somewhere between midnight and 3am to pee. Since she's still in a crib and can't climb onto the toilet alone, her potty trips require one of us to get out of bed and escort her.

Our third book must be either a collection of 4 Maisy stories or Dr. Seuss's Go Dog Go, both of which she can recite from memory. Then A grabs her paci from the crib and turns off her table lamp. "Sing songs," she says as she snuggles against my neck.

Our song singing ritual began shortly before her 2nd birthday, when she asked me to sing "Happy Birthday" to her and her sister every night before bed. We've since dropped "Happy Birthday" and bulldozed our way through every goddamn song I know. "Ba-ba Black Sheep," "London Bridge is Falling Down," and "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" get old after, oh, about 60 sings, so I'm combing the dusty corners of my brain for the lyrics (or hell, at least the chorus) to "America the Beautiful," "Eleanor Rigby," "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain," "Oklahoma!" and "The Cat's in the Cradle." And while A always insists I end with a quick medley of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Bim-Bom" (in Hebrew) and "Rock-a-bye Baby," I need more songs. This bedtime ritual works and I'm pretty sure A's not going to let me get away with dropping the songs any time soon, so I need more material. At least until I get assigned my Torah portion. Then maybe I can subject her to that.

Photo by big sister Z