Tag Archive: bedtime


It is night-time.

The kids have just gone up to brush teeth and get their story before going to sleep. I begin to walk up the stairs.

Picture by Carolina JG

The hall light has not been turned on or it has been turned off. All is quiet as I make my plodding way up the stairs. My foot steps are a little heavy to let them know I am coming.

That is when I hear it, the pitter-patter and giggles of little ones getting into place. They know I am coming. I know they know I am coming. And I know what to expect next.

BOO!!!  BOO!!!

I do a little yell, enough surprise laid in so they think I was really scared. It is something we stopped doing during the summer when I would half-carry tired bodies into bed. Then, all they wanted to do was sleep.

But now, now, they are protesting those few minutes before sleep. Now they are trying to make bed time a little more fun before the eyes fall shut.

In the last two weeks we had adjusted bedtime for the start of school. They go to bed at the right time to get enough sleep so there will be no sleepy eyes at school.

For most of the summer, bedtime was ten because at nine it was still light out and there was an excuse not to sleep. Light meant you could still play a little more.

As summer winds down, it is getting darker sooner. Long lazy days are coming to an end. By nine, the sun has gone down and let the dark skies take over. It is ok, now, to go to bed at nine. Eyes begin to shut not with the second bedtime story but the first.

Winter habits are creeping back. Winter tastes and winter clothes will sneak their way out of the pantries and closets. Hot chocolate and warm cookies will replace Popsicles. Graham crackers will get soaked with the sweet hot drink instead of kool-aid.

Every night, I will walk up the stairs, footsteps heavier than they need to be. And when I round the corner, I will hear giggles and pitter-patter of steps as they get into place. That is when I prepare myself to be a little scared because these moments will not last forever.

Our Bedtime Picks!

While I still have little ones in the house, I still have bed time stories.

 This is our cool down activity after baths, bed time snacks and brushing teeth.  We snuggle together and pick out a book to read. I put a ban on Scooby Doo for a while because I am just tired of reading about that dog.

However our house is filled with more children’s books. Some have torn covers or have pages that were given extra help with a pen or a crayon; doesn’t matter because we still read them.

So here are the books we have been reading this summer that we love and adore.

Picture from Barnes and Noble.com

Mick Inkpen’s Kipper’s A-Z Adventure is a delight and a hoot. Most ABC books just have a picture to go with the letter. But in this one we get a story as Arnold, Kipper’s little pig friend, makes a collection of critters and insects in a box. There are funny moments that make me laugh out loud. There are a few sad moments too when Arnold takes a spill. (oo is for oops) And if you do not fall in love with the Zebra by the last page, it is not my fault.

Picture from Barnes & Noble.com

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle is a part of the great bear series with interesting illustrations and even better prose. I like it because my kids constantly interact with the story. Sam says the first line for each animal, which improves his speech and Sara like to do the end page wrap up. The pictures are interesting and the reading is always fun. 

Picture from Borders.com

The Moon Jumpers by Janice Udry and illustrated by Maurice Sendak is a great book that exemplifies the best of summer. It is about children getting the last of their play time in the yard before Mother calls them to bed. They jump and sing and run and roll. It looks so beautiful and like so much fun. Udry’s writing is beautiful and to the point. “No one has ever touched the moon” she tells us and silently encourages us to give it a try.

 Final note about adult reading.

Do you ever get stuck on one author? Right now all I seem to want to read is Jane Austen. I watch her movies and specials on her life. I even found a “Lost in Austen” miniseries. One of my facebook friends posted a great comedic homage about Austen that involves a girls fight club .

Picture from Borders.com

However, I have decided to give Jane a break for a time. I need to let go and move on. So I have put her books on the shelf and brought out Jane Eyre. I won’t get lost in Bronteland because this is the only Bronte novel I remotely enjoy. Plus, I have picked up a book by William Least Heat-Moon called River Horse. It is about his journey across the riverways of the United States on his boat that was cobbled together. It looks interesting and thick. Should take me somewhere into the fall to finish.

Racing to Bedtime

Lately, my youngest son has wanted to “race” me up the stairs at bedtime.

I really believe in routines and bedtime routines are the best ones of all. After bath time, we have snacks while watching a favorite show. Once the clock strikes bedtime, the TV goes off and we go upstairs for teeth brushing and story time.

I am not sure how it started one night but the five-year-old wants to race. Sam also wants to win. He knows if he starts the race before we hit the stairs he has a better chance of winning. Because our house was built at the end of the Arts and Craft era in the cottage style, the stairway is nice wood but small. There are chances for spills if you are not careful.

We start at the entrance of the living room that has a three foot break to the stairs. Sam makes the count down while making sure I do not start early. He yells ‘go’ and we start. But he edges out me out on the stairs. They are narrow and do not allow an adult to pass a child easily.  If I wanted to push the kid aside and let him fall down the stairs, I could win easily.

But then that would involve crying and screaming with my husband wondering why winning over a five-year-old on a race to the upstairs bathroom would over-ride my otherwise good sense. Plus it would take forever to get the kid calmed down again.

So I let him win, especially when he makes the last minute call for the bathroom which requires a sharp right turn. Being smaller and more agile in some respects, he wins every time. It is a last minute bit of pre-bedtime fun. Once we start brushing teeth and reading that book sleepy time is in full swing.

So on to the races we will go every night until they are no longer wanted.

Karyn Bowman is also known as Mom Goes to the Movies. She lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.