Juan Carlos (just about 3 years old) is very into his naptime and bedtime routine. If all goes according to schedule he goes down like a little angel. It always starts with a few stories in the rocking chair followed by holding him and maybe singing a couple of songs (ABC's is his favorite). Then it is time to put him in his bed and that's where things can get tricky. Here are the Bedtime Players in order of ascending importance.
Player #1: Blue Bankie (he likes it, but not a big deal if it is not there)
Player #2: Pillow (can be exchanged for any other pillow)
Player #3: Red Pillow. This is "Baby's" pillow (see below). Can be exchanged for another color, but must be approximately the same size.
Player #4: Green Blankie (pretty important)
Player #5: Baby (cannot be exchanged) (Looks much creepier (and dirtier) in this photo than in real life)
Player #6: "Kiki" (cannot be exchanged at any time or under any circumstance)
Julio (5 1/2 yrs.) often takes #5 or #6 and strategically hides them right before nap or bedtime. He loves to see me and Guapo running around the house screaming, "Has anyone seen Kiki?" He usually turns himself in before we totally lose it.
So, these are the players, but it's not just that they are all present. There is an order to the madness and here it is:
If there is a problem, Juan Carlos claims that the offending Player is "broken" as in "My green blankie is broken". This mostly happens with Green Blankie (notice how it is not flush with the edge of the crib):
Or Baby (Baby must be laying on his back with only his head on the pillow) (Julio is LOVING the photo shoot, normally finding baby in such a compromising position would not bring such a cute smile):
These problems must be dealt with before you can proceed.
Once all things are in place the most important part of the ritual comes. It is the same conversation every time:
Gabriella: Goodnight Julio.
Juan Carlos: Goodnight mom.
Gabriella: I love you.
J.C.: I love you too.
J.C.: Maybe make browniepasta? (it's one word)
Gabriella: Yes, we'll make browniepasta.
J.C.: Ok, goodnight.
You can tell that early on in his life I would bribe him to go to sleep with the promise of high-carb snacks. We don't actually make brownies or pasta everyday, but somehow it stuck.
You may think I am spoiling this kid with all of his needs and wants at bedtime. Margarita gave up her nap at 2 years and 4 months and Julio at just 22 months. My friends with older kids would say, "Just lay down with the kid and they'll go to sleep" or "Tell them they have to close their eyes for 10 minutes and if they don't fall asleep in 10 minutes they can get up." Nothing worked with them. I always ended up asleep and they would be off making mincemeat of the house.
Juan Carlos is almost 3 and still sleeps 11 hours at night and another 2-3 hours in the afternoon. If the kid wanted me to jump through a fiery hula-hoop, believe me you, I'd be jumping.