I don’t know what I’m doing as a parent so much of the time. Thankfully, I get it right sometimes. And a whole lot of times I get it wrong too. Bedtime is one of those times when it feels like a whole lot of wrong. I get frustrated as the clock slips past bedtime and she refuses to put on pajamas. It’s the hardest part of the day for me by far. I’m tired from working all day and making dinner. All I want is to be sitting on the couch doing nothing. The second I sit down, the requests start.
“You forgot to get me water!”
“I can’t find Big Dog!”
“I’m still hungry! I need more dinner!”
We take turns managing the requests, both exhausted and frustrated. In one of those frustrated ready to give up moments, I handed Roozle a notebook and crayons and sent her to bed. I quickly texted my friend. “I just sent Roozle to bed with crayons and paper. I feel like I wasn’t supposed to do that.” She wrote back, “You’re doing it all just right.”
That night there were fewer requests. She fell asleep drawing a snowman. It ruled. The next night, she colored some more. Then all the nights after that. What took me so long to think of this? If she could read, we’d certainly let her stay up reading for a bit, so why not color? Coloring is relaxing. And awesome. Especially instead of going right to sleep when you’re four.
Bedtime is a lot less frustrating these days. It’s actually enjoyable. She trusts that I check on her now and doesn’t ask three hundred times to be tucked in (because she sees the picture in the morning). She’s so busy with her drawings, she forgets to ask us all the questions. When it’s time for bed, she goes to bed and stays there. She’s excited about her drawing time. I’m excited about my couch time. It rules. Goodnight Roozle!