Sunday, January 08, 2006
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Would all you parents out there of young or grown children please explain something to me: Why is it that our best sleep of the night is usually when we're putting our young'uns to bed, they ask us to lay on their bed, we say, "Okay, for a couple of minutes" -- and the next thing you know our spouse is gently rousing us with "Come to bed. It's 11:30."
"What?? But it was just 8:30..."
I've spoken to several parents who are familiar with this scenario. Kids want a book read to them to help them fall asleep; we fall asleep while reading the book (kid stays awake!). Kid wants you to make up a story to tell them; you like the story so much, you just keep on tickin'...and so does the kid.
When my oldest child had me lying on his bed as he settled in, I would fight Mr. Sandman, but he'd get me just about every time.
Middle child and I lie in bed and listen to classical music to lull her--and sometimes me--to sleep.
Youngest child always wants me to tell him a story -- we seem to go through the alphabet with an animal theme, eg. Alvin the Alligator, Benjy the Bear, Chris the Cobra... It isn't always easy to make up a story as I go, but it's rewarding as I generally try to lend the story a moral. And it's also rewarding when I've sometimes retold stories over and over and continue to get my child/children's interest with these made-up tales, enough that I've tried to put these stories down on paper as children's picture book manuscripts. Granted, I have yet to do something with these stories for children other than my own!
Nightime rituals can lend themselves to a kind of inner peace, both for the child and his/her parent. We are always seeking inner peace, aren't we? So I guess you won't mind if I end my post here and go lie down with child #2.....