Lily just put herself down for nap. Yep, she did. I'm speechless. Maybe this isn't unusual for a 3 year old to do. Maybe I'm just behind. Maybe I'm a control freak over sleep. I don't know. What I do know is that I love it when my kids sleep, and I really enjoy the bedtime ritual too, but the nap ritual...not so much. It is the middle of the day, I usually have just gotten Jade down and I want to get Lily down quickly to maximize my child free time of the day...which usually turns out to be a whopping 45 minutes of them napping simultaneously.
So today after getting Jade down, it was time to do the same for Lily. My mind ran through the routine...pull-up on, read one book, sing a few songs, tuck in with a hug and kiss...doesn't sound bad, but Lily has a way of dragging it out at times. The delay takes many forms...taking forever to pick out a book...then changing her mind a few times...same deal with the songs, etc, etc, etc. I must have been feeling delirious, because as I approached her I said, "Lily, do you want to be a big girl and go to sleep all by yourself"? She looked up at me with pride and excitement and accepted my offer. I thought wow, this is either going to be really good or really bad! So I pulled down her shade (gotta love the room darkening shade!) and walked out.
I heard her talking about 15 minutes later, which isn't unusual, but I thought I'd go check to make sure she wasn't playing on the floor or something. I was delighted to find her in bed with covers on. She was asleep 5 minutes later. I may be onto something here! Hmm, should we put this in place at night too? Routine...warm milk (yes, I still warm my child's milk, pitiful I know!), brush teeth, into PJs, read 2 books, sing several songs, prayers, potty, tuck into bed, 1 more song and "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" prayer, check bed to make sure all necessary animals are in attendance...whew...I'm done. Although this routine is much longer, it would also be much harder to give up. In my busy stay-at-home/work-at-home, mommy-of-two life, as crazy as it sounds...there are often days that Lily and I don't "connect" much. On those days, connecting with her at bedtime is so crucial. Hearing what is on her little mind and praying with her before she drifts off is a special time. So I think I'll hang on to that one a bit longer!
Right now, it is almost 3:30 and I've enjoyed a near two hours of peace and quiet. Absolutely glorious! I'm waiting to be pinched! Maybe I'm not dreaming after all. Thank God they are.
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