Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

I wanted to capture our nightly bedtime routine, because I don't ever want to forget the details...
It's seven o'clock on a weeknight. We are rarely ever home, but Charley starts to get fussy. She wants to be swaddled in her blanky, fed, and put in her sleeper. I tell Grace that we have to get home, because it's bed time. She tells me, "I don't want to. It's wake up time."
We walk in the front door, Grace runs into the bedroom for bath time (one of her favorite times). She begins taking her clothes off and runs around naked until we get the bathtub filled up and ready. She asks every time, "Chawyee taked a baff, too?"
Yes, Grace, Charley will take a bath with you.
Daddy sets Charley in her Minnie Mouse bath seat. Grace starts to slowly pour water on Charley's belly, and Charley flashes Gracie her huge gummy smile. Grace loves helping Daddy give sister her baths, and Charley loves anything that draws attention from Grace. It's clear that her big sister is already her world.
When Charley is clean, Daddy passes her to Mommy who is waiting with a fresh, pink Minnie Mouse towel. I lay her on our bed and lather her up with Johnson's Bedtime Lotion and give her a fresh diaper. She gets swaddled up, her hair gets brushed, and then she gets her last meal before bedtime. She slowly starts to doze off, and I place her in the little pink sleeper that is right next to my side of the bed. Her little eyes flutter, and she's out like a light.

Grace's turn. The water is now cold, because she's played in it for so long. She still tells me, "I want to pway" as I get her a towel. She opens the drain and stands up. I wrap her up and kiss her as I carry her to our bed. She tells me, "Shhh, Chawyee seeping." She grabs the lotion and puts way too much on her hands. Her silly grin lights up my world as she starts rubbing her little belly. I grab her panties and she decides that she'd rather have different Minnie Mouse ones. She hops off the bed and runs into the closet. We finally agree on a pair, and she climbs back into bed using the sheets to pull herself up.
I turn on a movie for us to watch. This night, it happens to be Pocahontas (because we're still in that phase).
Grace comes up with different excuses to stay awake. First up is, "I hafta go see Daddy! I be wight back. I pommise." She says this with big hand movements and points to me to show that she really means business. Daddy is usually sitting out on the couch watching football or researching new weight equipment for the garage/gym he's building. Grace goes out to the living room, and he smothers her in hugs and kisses before sending her back to bed.
She lays down next to me and then sits up saying, "I need a baby sip of wahyer. The cold wahyer." I give her a sip from my water bottle, but "only a baby sip, because we don't want any accidents ok?" She lays down again and says, "Mommy, tickle." I tickle her squishy little arm, then realize that we haven't said our prayer yet.
"Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen!"
Grace does her best to follow along and say it with me. We then do our nightly bedtime kisses routine: Eskimos we touch our nose, Butterflies we touch our eyes. "Then what?" I ask her. "Big Mommy Kiss!", she says with a huge smile on her face. I give her a big kiss and a tight squeeze. Finally she lays down, I tickle her arm, and she's out within minutes.
Ahh, quiet. I give Grace a few minutes and transfer her into her own bed (a toddler bed against our bedroom wall just a few feet from our bed). While I'm up, I grab Charley and sneak her into bed to snuggle. We cuddle until I'm dozing off, and then I move her back into her sleeper. Cute little thing doesn't even flinch. (She's a great sleeper!)
Isaac comes to bed and gives me a kiss good night. I say my own prayer and make sure to thank God for these three blessings that have made my life complete.
Someday they won't be babies. Someday they won't want Mommy and Daddy to kiss them or tickle them to sleep. Someday it'll just be Isaac and I again. When my patience is tested, I must remind myself of this and remember to enjoy every second. My babies won't be babies for very long, and I want to stop this moment in life and cherish it.

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