Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Bedtime Story

Bedtime has long since been placed on a sacred pedestal. In my list of life priorities nothing, I repeat, nothing stands between me and my bedtime; not parties, not children, not even sex. If it doesn't fit with my level of tiredness, I won't do it, plain and simple. Once in a while, I might make a concession, but it's always on my terms. 

I managed to navigate the waters of motherhood and bedtime with a fair amount of ease. Choosing to co sleep with each of my children afforded me 9-11 hours of sleep as a new mom. Even now with two children, I get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I wake up feeling rested and ready anywhere between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. (and usually get half an hour to an hour alone before the kids wake up.) It's all down to honoring bedtime. 

When I was a child, I went through phases of night time rituals. The first being a bedtime story with mom or dad. I kind of preferred dad, just because I liked the way he told stories. He would read to my sister and me together because shared a bedroom. My favorite story was The Sneetches. We'd be in stitches, laughing at all the hilarious ways he would rhyme out Dr. Seuss verse. 

in middle school, I preferred the Psalms from the bible over bedtime stories. I think I went through a phase of emotions and fear, and they offered me comfort and solace before bedtime. This was mom's department. Even though she and dad would take turns each night, hearing the words of God through my mother's lips added a certain measure of reassurance. 

In Jr. High, I started working crossword puzzles to get into the zone of sleep. I would harvest the back page from TV Guide and keep it bedside for a week, working on it a little each night, until the next one came in the mail. If I figured out the TV Guide crossword before the new one came, I would pull one out of the newspaper. I remember liking the TV Guide crosswords because they were easily solvable. They gave me a sense of accomplishment before turning the lights out. I think I also started working crosswords right around the time my sister moved out and got her own bedroom. Since she was no longer there to share the bedtime story, I found a new way of winding down. 

These days, bedtime might still get held in high esteem, but it doesn't necessarily mean that I always have the luxury to read or work a cross word before feeling too tired to lift a book. I am able to stay up later now than I ever have before; usually turning the lights out between 10:30 and 11:00. My standard bedtime for the last 7 years or so has been 9:30. Anything past that, and I turned into a banshee. 

Since banshees are not good at putting little children to bed, I had to learn how to understand my own tired signals, as well as the ones from my offspring. After getting a child (sometimes two) ready for bed with jammies, brushing teeth, reading them their own goodnight story and kisses goodnight, I don't always have energy left to give myself the same attention. Thankfully, Corey is usually around to help out with getting the kids ready for bed. He will give baths, or read Carrick a story, and I will get to spend some time by myself after Lily falls asleep. 

This summer, with no morning schedule, I was able to have ample amounts of me time before bed. So much so, that I read the entire adventures of the Borrowers. It's a vintage copy that has my mom's and aunt's names written in the front. The binding is ripped from years of use, but the story is timeless. I have one chapter left of my re-read of The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers, so on my recent trip to Bookman's I scouted out another book to take its place. 

I found a double Nancy Drew Mystery. I have a huge collection of Nancy Drew books somewhere in my parents' basement that have yet to make it to Arizona. I would spend hours during the summer breaks reading Nancy Drew books. My favorite was sitting outside under the big shady tree in our front yard. For bedtime reading, Nancy Drew seemed perfect. I like to keep my reading light, nothing too exciting or heavy. Children's literature has always struck a chord with me, so $4.00 Fun Dollars bought me a month's worth of bedtime stories. 

I also procured a pair of cotton pajama pants at Target while out shopping. All I have are flannel pants or shorts, but nothing light and airy for lounging around before bedtime. My legs get cold when the cooler is on, so I needed something in between. 

Now, with new pajama pants and a good night book to read, I am ready for bed. Good night.

Nancy Drew Double Mystery: The Sapphire Spider and The Invisible Intruder at Bookman's- $4.00
Pajama pants at Target- $13.00
Balance this pay cycle- $65.00
Happy Spending!

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