Bed time is frustrating at our house. Not my bed time. Personally, I love my bed time. I put my comfy pjs on, crawl under the fluffy comforter, pull out whatever novel I’m inching my way through and read for the five to ten minutes before I give in and sleep takes over. It’s one of the best times in my day.
The bed time I’m referring to is my son’s. I should preface this by saying my son is an amazingly good baby. I realize you are probably a bit suspicious. After all, what parent doesn’t gush about how great their kid is, right?* But as my close friends can attest, my kid is actually decent to go out with. He’s generally smiley and perfectly happy to examine the toys attached to his high chair, sit in his car seat and play with chimes or just hang out on my lap trying to grab at my food or drink while I gab on for good chunks of time with my friends. He doesn’t generally throw hissy fits or scream. He’s even better at home when he has an entire floor to roll around on and a multitude of toys to stuff in his mouth.
Still, bed time is rough.
We have a great little bed time routine. It usually starts out with either myself or my husband reading him a story while the other one fills his little bath tub. As soon as it’s done we stop reading (half the time he’s not paying a bit of attention to the book anyway and squirming because he’s being held against his will), strip him down and plunk him in the tub. He LOVES bath time. He plays with toys, tries to grab bubbles, giggles, splashes and since he’s recently discovered his penis and it’s the only time he’s naked, spends an awful lot of time grabbing at that. I sing him songs, my husband makes silly faces at him. He’s an angel.
He lets us get him out of the tub, brush his teeth (two on the bottom, one poking out on top and one just getting ready to poke out), smiling the entire time. Then comes the tantrum. When we take him back into his room to put his pjs on, he throws a fit. He squirms while I try to dry him. He tries to roll over while I put his diaper on. He flails his arms while I try to get a onsie over his head and he starts sobbing when I try to put his actual jammies on. He won’t actually calm down and act slightly human again until he’s had a bottle shoved in his mouth and he’s being rocked to soft lullabies.
I blame my husband for this. While I’m getting the jammies on, he makes a bottle and brings it in. He sits in the rocking chair and swishes it around to further mix it. My sons hears it. He twists and sees it. Then all hell breaks loose. It’s like my husband is taunting him. He might as well call out in that nasty sing song voice of older siblings everywhere “guess what I’ve got.”
Ok, so that’s totally unfair of me. After all, my son does the same thing when my husband is in charge of jammy-ing him and I bring the bottle in, despite the fact that I hide it and pitch in to get the kid dressed for bed. I think it’s actually the anticipation and the knowledge that a bottle always follows his bath. I tell you, when that kid decides he is hungry, he lets everyone know.
The nice thing is that once the bottle has been recieved and he’s been rocked, we can put him in his crib and while we might here a little tossing and turning and some ocassional babbling, he goes to sleep within 10 minutes and is out until the next morning.
I realize bed time could be a lot worse, but if you’ve ever tried diapering and dressing a kid who just won’t stay still, it can make for a long, trying couple of minutes.