Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bedtime Routine with Daddy

I've always thought that I have the best husband on the planet, but sometimes he makes my heart feel like it's going to burst right out of my chest. Tonight was one of those nights.

My son thrives on a schedule. I'll assume that he finds comfort in the predictability of his soporific routine. Every evening we eat dinner together, he has a bath, I sing his favorite bedtime song as I dress him for bed, I give him a quick rubdown with lotion, we sit in the rocker while I read two bedtime stories, we snuggle for a few minutes while I hum the end of his favorite bedtime song, and then I put him in his crib while telling him that I'll see him in the morning. This routine has been followed since he was around nine months old, when I stopped nursing him directly to sleep. It never varies and it nearly always comes at the same time each evening. Thanks to this bedtime routine, he has always been easy to put to bed.

Up until about six-weeks ago, my husband had never put our son to bed. I suggested that he might want to start putting the baby to bed because I might not always be here. Long time readers of this blog probably think that I have an unhealthy preoccupation with death, but it does happen - sometimes to perfectly healthy young women. Anyway, my husband reluctantly agreed to start putting the little one to bed on the evenings he's home with us.

The first time was a disaster. The second time was a disaster. It has been a difficult task, to say the very least. My heart broke for both my husband and our son: for our son because he would wail for his "mama!" and for my husband because our son was essentially rejecting his father.

Tonight was wonderful! My husband took the lead in feeding the boy his dinner. My husband gave the boy his bath and, HOORAY!, there were no tears or wailing involved. My husband got the little one dressed for bed. Our son held me for a few minutes instead of just giving a kiss, but I figured that he needed a little extra love. The sweet little one pointed at the rocking chair and asked if I was going to sit in the chair with him. I said that his Daddy was going to read the bedtime stories tonight. I handed the boy to his father and I left the room.

After I started a load of laundry (strange habit, I know, but I do it every night), I jumped in the shower. My husband popped his head in the restroom and told me that tonight was the easiest night ever. The little one didn't scream or thrash about and they were able to read both bedtime stories. Our son chatted to himself for a little bit and then went to bed.

I'm so happy that my husband likes to spend time with his son and I'm glad that he's able to put the little one to bed. Why am I so glad about this? Well, because this gives me a break on the nights that my husband is home. Yay!!

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