Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Calming Bedtime Routine?

Jack and Luke must, MUST, do something active and crazy right before bedtime. It's as if their brains scream to their bodies,"Run, Jump, Dive, Chase, Wrestle. Do something! You're going to be immobile for the next 8 to 10 hours."

So I find it humorous when I read some advice or reminder that a bedtime routine should be a soothing event that relaxes the body and calms the mind and transitions the child into sleep.

Our bedtime routine is a frantic event that damages the body and excites the mind and transitions the child into exhaustion. But that works, too.

The newest routine is a pillow fight before bed. The boys talked me into doing this one night when John was out of town. I agreed. I should not have. I got hit with this homemade pillow that felt like a brick. Aren't homemade pillows supposed to be lumpy and half-stuffed? Later, John said, "They are not supposed to use those pillows. They are hard as bricks." No kidding. Just ask my flat face.

So the boys got in trouble for breaking the pillow fight rules. And mom no longer plays pillow fight. But guess what? The boys changed the pillow fight rules and the brick pillows are now part of regular play. The new rule is no hitting in the face. Although it happens often in the pillow fight because they can't really aim. So they can do it on purpose and claim it was an accident. And the fight continues with no one having broken any rules.

So as the pillow fight roars, I sit in the other room hearing periodic bursts of laughter; bursts of crying (some real, some fake to bring someone close for a hit); shouts of, "Bring the Pain," and constant repeats of the one rule that is golden, "Don't hit in the penis." It sounds a little like this, only I am always braced for the tears:

I know the pillow fight will last until someone gets hurt (which is every time) or until John surrenders (also every time). Then he has to spend another ten minutes trying to settle the boys down in their beds. Then they get their calming books, but by then they are completely exhausted. So I guess our routine is working.


Anonymous said...

you need to get footage of john getting hit with a rock pillow in his golden region. i and several others would pay for that video. im sure the boys would help. we could send it to amer funn videos. john might get to meet bob saget.


Unknown said...

I think it sounds better than the routine at our house which sometimes but not always includes yelling, threating, and bribery. Maybe I will try the pillow fight thing :)

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

I swear John PRAYED for boys and only boys so he could justify partaking in such activities.


Loth said...

It's kind of the same in our house. I spend the time trying to calm the boys down, waft them off to sleep in a gradual downward spiral of relaxation. Then my husband comes in to say good night to them and spends 10 minutes tickling them into hysteria. It's a boy thing.

Beth Cotell said...

As long as it works, I say do it...especially at bedtime!

momstheword said...

Welcome to the "two boy" club! Mine are 15 and 20 now and so far they're both alive, although I wondered after the occasional visits to emergency room with a cut finger, a cut head, and a couple of other boy-events!

Thanks for telling me about the fund. thank you for telling me. I was just thinking, yesterday, when I was praying for them that I wondered if there was anything set up like that.

Angela said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and giving me that blog address...I appreciate that. I will be adding Angie and her family to my Fearless Friday Meme's so that others will also join in standing in the gap for her family and praying in agreement. (Matthew 18:18-20)

Verna said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me that information. My heart goes out to Angie. Having lost a number of my family members to cancer. Her strength amazes me. I pray for them daily.

Cheryl said...

Thank you!

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