Bedtime, bedtime bedtime! Oh how we want the day to end so we can get on with our chores and end of day activities like watching just one show before bed. Is that too much to ask? We've given you our full attention ALL DAY LONG so when we say 8pm is bedtime - we mean business!
We suspect our five and almost three year old of conspiring against us. I've found them whispering behind the recliner and they get quiet if I peek over to see what they are doing.
Their strategy is to do things out of order, get in bed and then suddenly need to sprint out for a toy, drink of water, etc. Enough of that! Our strategy is to cross off the following five items BEFORE getting into bed because once they are in bed, there is NO getting out!
1 - put on pajamas
2 - potty
3 - brush teeth
4 - get drink of water
5 - get toy to sleep with
5.5 - read book to kids
6 - prayer
6.5 - panic run for the bathroom from drinking too much water
7 - cuddle time
8 - lots of random chatter about what we are going to dream about and counting of the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling
9 - sing silly song
10 - say three, two, one, quiet
Yes, we sing a silly song EVERY SINGLE NIGHT - "Night, night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite. Where your socks and shoes, sweet dreams to you! I love you - and you and you and you and you and you and you" (while pointing at everyone and toys in the room).
Socks and shoes part was created by Charlotte because when she was two she learned to wear socks and shoes so the ants wouldn't bite her feet. So when we first started the bed bugs part she would gasp and say "wear your socks and shoes". Now I can't even remember how the original goes!!
Routine - stick to it! Refuse to let any additional demands eat into your precious evening hours!