Friday, January 25, 2013

"TUCK-IN"

The bedtime "tuck-in" is a ritual I covet.  There is nothing better than the bath, book, bed routine for a younger child.  There's often a science-like precision: teddy bears or blankets in place, door open a crack, hall light on.  And the lullabies - the same songs my mom sang to me.  The thought of our children "nestled all snug in their beds" is dreamy.

But as the parenting cliche so truly states, the days may be long but the years are short.  Soon the baby is a toddler and the toddler is tween.  Now while I read the baby Goodnight Moon, the oldest is reading her own book in bed for Lit Circle.  So where does that leave tuck-in? And why does bedtime seem to keep getting later and later for the older ones?

After a family-dinner last night (yay!) we asked how come they were fast asleep for the sitter the night before? What was the secret? "She sings to us and stays there longer".  Wow.  We asked, they answered.  Now I am a huge proponent of self-soothing and resilience, but I realized the tide may have swung a bit too far.  A goodnight kiss and a thirty second song followed by the dreaded "did you study your spelling words" from the door does not exactly make for a smooth transition to "la-la land".  And last night's success was proof of the power of an extra minute or two.

Yes, as kids grow up nurturing must share space with independence and grit - but it doesn't have to be three's a crowd - there's room for all!

PS - Chapter books and read-alouds for the older crowd

9 comments:

  1. Love this post. I agree that it's a ritual that I too often undervalue. My kids truly still love bedtime stories and now that they're older, "private talks" ( code for: time alone with mom or dad to discuss anything in the world). The years do go fast and lately, the days do too!

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