Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Surving the Bedtime Routine

I have talked about this before, and I will say it again. Bedtime is not my favorite time of the day.

I mean, the part where the kids are asleep and peace and quiet has settled in for the night - the part where my husband and I can actually have a grown-up conversation without having to spell things (only now we have a speller, so we have to use pig latin or something equally ridiculous) - that part I like. It's the part leading up to it where we run into trouble.

I'm not a fan of just sending my kids off to put themselves to bed, because I think it should be a special time to talk and pray with them and tell stories. The problem, though, is that I don't want it take all night.

My kids are experts at sucking a whole evening away at bedtime, whether it's dragging their feet to brush teeth and put jammies on or protesting that we forgot to tell the required stories in the correct order.

The solution to our bedtime routine, came from husband, who is not only a genius, but also quite handsome, don't you think:

His solution - like most solutions he comes up with after I trudge through some horrible routine for months and then swear I can't take it anymore - is maddeningly simple.

At 7:45 pm the kitchen timer gets set and at 8:15 pm the timer rings and Phil and I kiss them goodnight and walk out of their bedrooms for the evening. After that, we use the rule of the three B's we borrowed from our friends: If you come out of your room, it better be Broken, Bleeding, or Burning. (Can't you just feel the love?)

When the timer starts, they scurry off to put on pajamas, brush teeth, etc. and we tell them if there is time left after all that gets done, we can lay down with them and tell them a story. It's amazing, really. What they used to drag out all night to accomplish, now gets done in about 72 seconds.

Yes, it still takes a half an hour out of my life every night, but I know they will grow up before I know it and no longer need me to lay down with them or tell them stories. I'll be the one begging, "Please come and talk to me a few more minutes!"

Okay, for the record, I wanted the timer to only be set for fifteen or twenty minutes, but my husband convinced me that thirty minutes would be more fair.

He's so smart.

Next week, maybe I'll tell you about his brilliant potty-training invention.


{ L } said...

cute picture! :) I'm with you, I hate dragging bedtime out all night. We do something similar called the 10 minute game. We set the timer for 10 minutes and they have to get all their stuff done and in bed, ready for us to tuck them in before it beeps. :)

Michie said...

Bedtime and sleeping in general have been an issue at our house too. We also use timers for quite a bit. Maybe I'll have to try this too.