Bedtime Routine #SOL19 22/31

“I would like to be chased upstairs by turkey vultures.”

If this were Survivor, the contestant would be sweating. In our house, it’s bedtime.

Allow me to explain.

We have a really long bedtime routine at our house. It takes at least an hour – usually more – and, in addition to the standard washing and brushing, includes the kids reading out loud in French, me or their dad reading out loud in English, and often time for reading quietly in their beds. And lots of snuggles, some of which are code for “for the love of all that is good, stop moving your body.”

From an outsider’s perspective, that may seem excessively long, but last evening alone perfectly illustrates why our children need so much time to settle down.

7pm, our kitchen

I look up from commenting on a blog post. “Thomas, you know the rule: no handstands after 7. Are you done making your lunch?”

“Yes. Just let me get in one more good one. Wait – will you take a picture? No wait, a video. You can put it on your blog.” He continues to do handstands. Up. Down. Up. Down.

I stare implacably. No, wait, I don’t. I actually say, “Sure, one picture” because I am a sucker and I am tired. Plus, I am twenty-two days into a month-long blog challenge, so I will take almost any topic. Three handstands later, I crack, “Enough. That’s all the handstands for today.”

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In the background, his father is unperturbed. This child does a lot of handstands.

Thomas pleads: “Please…. Just one more. Wait, that one wasn’t good. One more good one.”

This time I hold firm and shoo him up the stairs. I am turning my focus to child #2 when my husband jumps in to help.

“Mr. Eric, do you need to do any more on your lunch or would you like to be chased upstairs by your father screeching like a Tyrannosaurus Rex?”

Long pause. Eric tilts his head and shoots his father a mischievous look. 

“I would like to be chased upstairs by turkey vultures.” He tears out of the kitchen.

And dad is up, running through the house, lifting his knees high, gobbling like a turkey while flapping his “wings.” Eric runs shrieking in front of him, swings around the newel post and flees up the stairs.

Don’t judge, it’s the fastest way to get him up to bed. But it does make a for a long bedtime routine. Good thing we all like the snuggles.

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13 thoughts on “Bedtime Routine #SOL19 22/31

  1. Oh, this is the best slice! Whenever you mention your husband again, I’ll think “turkey vulture”, and have that knee-high gobbling arm waving image in mind. lol There’s so much more I want to say about this post–about the memories you’re creating, the grace and fun under pressure, etc. This is what love looks like and you brought the moment to life beautifully.

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  2. I’m laughing picturing the turkey vulture! Bedtime is an adventure at our house too. My husband offers “daddy airplane” rides up to bed. He carries all three girls at once and they can’t get enough. Whatever it takes. Thanks for the peek into your bedtime routine!

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  3. What a lovely glimpse into bedtime routines. I especially love “no handstands after 7.” It reminded me of my son around that age, a gymnast who was always practicing. He’s in his 20s now and still does flips and handstands. In college he was a cheerleader and would have handstand races down the basketball court and back at halftime. Enjoy every minute and all the snuggles.

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  4. Your house is bursting with energetic creativity! I love how you and your husband are at the ready to play along. My own bedtime routine takes almost an hour, though I daresay it’s not as fun.

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  5. I was grinning the whole time reading this post! The calm down before bed can be challenging, especially with boys! Your son’s handstand was impressive!

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  6. Who can resist repeating the movement until you hit the handstand sweet spot? I can now but that has taken years of practice and restraint! 😉 You provide an endearing glimpse into your family life at bedtime. Lots to smile about and appreciate in this single slice.

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  7. That really is a great handstand! I can’t even IMAGINE being able to do that! Such an endearing and sweet slice that had me giggling several times. So many details, such voice, I feel like I am right there in your family enjoying the creative chaos!

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  8. First, great handstand! That’s impressive. My joints can’t handle that anymore!
    Second, I love the wya you get the kids upstairs at night. We have races between Ari and Isabelle since Isabelle moves at a snail’s pace at bedtime. Right now, she has longer legs that Ari so she wins. I wonder if he’d win if he thought a turkey vulture were chasing him. Hmmm…

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  9. My parents used to say, “Go to bed.” And we did. After all the teeth were brushed and we’d made 10 trips out for water, one or the other of them would come kiss us goodnight and that was that. Like you, we now have a bedtime routine that takes at least an hour. Pyjamas, teeth, random hygiene chores like nail clipping, everybody reading to everybody, snuggles, prayers, DONE! I’m exhausted by the end of it, and then my husband casually gets up to kiss everyone before going back to his reading. I hate missing it! (Though mysteriously they are always in bed much earlier when I am not around.)

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  10. Excellent choice for first line. And, sure, maybe the blog challenge encourages us to grasp for material, but I feel like this slice confirms your curation radar is well and amusingly calibrated.

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  11. Love your opening line. Tell Thomas his handstand was great. I do think you need to video the turkey vulture in action the next time. Seriously, this is such a sweet peek into your home, showing what love looks and sounds like. Cherish these moments. They are priceless.

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  12. Your writing reveals your sense of humor. This super power of yours enables you to transform daily challenges into beautiful small moments. I like the ccmparison of your bedtime to Survivor. I’ll seriously consider extending our bedtime routine, we could use some more upside down time and running before bed.

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