Melissa Joan Hart's Kids Sleeping Routine
My bedtime with Mason has been the same for a while now. After dinner he gets a bath, puts his PJs on, gets a book, watches an episode of his favorite TV show, feeds the fish, says goodnight to the fish, says his prayers and then gets tightly tucked into bed, where we say "I love you" to each other in sign language. It's a beautiful, wonderful routine that I love ... until it starts to grow. First he's hungry and wants a snack, then he wants a drink, then another book, then something else and something else and something else and ... it's just too much! I'm tired, he's tired and most of the time it results in both of us being cranky ... and awake!
And then something amazing happened. One night about a week after I had my new baby, Braydon, I was putting Mason to bed when the baby started to cry hysterically. I finished up the routine very quickly and said, "Mommy will be right back." I ran downstairs to get the baby, fed him, and by the time I came back upstairs, my "big" kid was sleeping. I was so happy. My kid was sleeping, I could do the millions of things I had to do around the house, and there was no fighting over apple juice or hungry caterpillars!
Of course, the next night he tried to stall and I started to get frustrated with all of his requests. But then I remembered the night before and I tried something: I said, "Honey, I forgot I have to take the doggies out, I'll be right back." And I left. He protested for a second but ultimately let me go and then proceeded to fall asleep all by himself.
Every night since then I've been lying to him about some reason why I need to "be right back." I mean, I love that my kid's sleeping by himself and that I have some time to take care of the baby, the house and my life, but I hate that I'm lying to him. I want him to be able to trust me and know that he's always safe with me, but I also want him to be able to comfort himself, which he's been doing recently when I leave. Am I making a mistake? Should I not say that anymore? Really, I'm not totally lying, I do come back ... it's just when he's asleep. Doesn't that count?
What else is on Melissa Joan Hart's mind?