Like every parent I know about, I’m busy. I’m a mother of a 5-year-old energetic young boy, I’ve got a demanding job, and I’ve a large family that needs caring for. I’ve a home that needs cleaning, laundry that needs to be washed, dinner that needs to be cooked, and a garden that’s probably trying to kill me. Not to point out, I’ve Whatsapp messages that follow me everywhere I go, forms to fill out that, I believe, had been due last week, books I’m in the midst of reading, and blog posts I’m in the course of writing.
I try and finish everything by 8 pm, my favourite part of the day.
At 8 pm I begin my son’s bedtime routine. It’s our extra special time to be with and care for one another, speak about our day, and connect. Bedtime is a time we both look ahead to.
We commence it by washing the busy day off our faces and brushing our teeth.
After that, I switch off my smartphone.
Our Bedtime Reading Routine
We select two books to read. We have picked two books since I can remember and undoubtedly since before my five year old can remember. Sometimes, we choose books based on our day. Sometimes, we choose books that all have the same size, or all have the same colour or theme. Sometimes we close our eyes and pick out books randomly.
Sometimes, we still get good use out of our ‘baby’ books because he can read them to me. Books with ‘A is for Apple’ and so on.
Sometimes, we get stuck on the same two books. Right now, we’ve had the same two superhero books for a couple of weeks. I’m prepared for a change myself (had been for a week). My kid may require another couple of days.
When we read books, we attempt to guess what’s going to occur next, search for similar words, and compare things in the stories to things we’ve seen or done before. When we read the same books again and again (and again), we look for things in the illustrations that we might’ve missed before.
After we’ve read the books, we tell one another our favourite parts of the day. We talk about being grateful to God for all the fun things we get to do, for all the people in our lives who love us, and for all of the things we have.
We say our prayers, says our good nights and get some rest.
For me, that bedtime routine is also the last thing I do. I don’t want to have anything waiting for me for ‘as soon as my kiddo is asleep’. I want to be there with him because the chores, work, Facebook, and to-dos will all be there tomorrow.