Last November, I went to see Jerry Seinfeld in concert at the Saenger. As expected, the majority of his act was funny, but there was one bit that was gut-bustingly hilarious to me … the bit about his kids’ bedtime routines.
“The bedtime routine for my kids is like this Royal Coronation Jubilee Centennial of rinsing and plaque and dental appliances and the stuffed animal semi-circle of emotional support. And I’ve gotta read 8 different moron books. You know what my bedtime story was when I was a kid? Darkness!”
A Royal Coronation Jubilee Centennial bedtime routine? Boy, could I relate to what he was saying.
At 8 months, my daughter’s bedtime routine consists of being fed while I sing a few songs (Over the Rainbow, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, and Close to You) and then put in bed. I hope we can keep it fairly simple as she grows older – perhaps adding a song or a story to the routine down the line. Judging from how out of control my son’s bedtime routine has gotten though, I doubt we will.
So what exactly takes place during the Royal Coronation Centennial bedtime routine with B, my three year old son? Here is a play-by-play:
- I fix B a half cup of milk.
- I hand him the milk and one of his socks (He uses Adidas gym socks as lovies … long story.).
- He and I lie in my bed.
- I sing Beautiful Boy (which he calls “Close Your Eyes”) to him, but am not allowed to sing the correct lyrics. You see, when I first started singing this song to him, I didn’t remember all of the lyrics so I repeated the same verse. After he started requesting this song nightly, I googled the full lyrics to learn them; however, if I try to sing the real lyrics, I am quickly corrected by my son.
- I sing Close to You (which he calls ‘Why do Birds”) while I pet his head. Lately, he thinks poo is really funny, so he cracks up singing along and changing the lyrics to, “Just like me, they long to be, close to poo.”
- Next comes “belly time.” I sing, “B-E-L-L-Y, it is Belly Time! Belly, belly song. Belly, belly song.” Then he moves his pillow to my stomach and I sing Father Daughter (changing the words to Mama/Baby).
- Then I count down from 5 and announce, WWE wrestling style, that it is time for the MEGA SNUGGLE! Mega Snuggle time is a hug during which we sing When Irish Eyes are Smiling.
- After songs, B hides under the covers and I call my husband into the room and tell him that I lost B. After my husband has adequately “looked” for him, B jumps out of the covers screaming, “Boo!”
- My husband must then “race” B upstairs … and lose.
- Then he has B go to the bathroom, change into his pajamas, and brush his teeth
- B must account for all seven stuffed animals (Teddy, Lob-stah, Apu, Leo, Ellie, Roboty, and Elmo).
- My husband reads 2 books to him.
- The ceiling fan, the nightlight, and the music box from his crib mobile must be turned on.
- I go back upstairs and sing Goodnight Sweetheart.
- We exchange “I love you’s” and “sweet dreams” and then blow and catch kisses to each other about 10 times.
- Most nights I am beckoned back into the room for another trip to the bathroom or sip of water, after which I sing Toora Loora Loora and repeat step 11.
Bedtime wasn’t always this drawn out. My husband used to do the bathroom routine with him, read a couple of stories, and then call me up for songs. After I had my daughter, we moved songs downstairs before the official bedtime routine and things sort of snowballed from there. Every time I did something to be funny (like Belly Time or the Mega Snuggle), thinking it was a one time instance, it immediately became part of the routine. I learned my lesson after a couple of times, but I still have steps 5-7 to remind me to never deviate from the routine.
I know the day will soon come when B doesn’t want a Mega Snuggle or won’t want me to sing to him and pet his head. He won’t want to spend two minutes every night blowing kisses to me. There are some days I wish for an abbreviated version of our routine so I can pop open a bottle of wine and zone out to the Housewives, but most days I relish every moment. Mostly it’s the best part of my day.