Bedtime Helper

January 18th, 2011

Let it be said that putting your infant to bed is easier when your toddler doesn’t help. But, when Josh has evening meetings (like last night), help she does. When all four of us are home, Little Bear and Miss Mouse go to bed at just about the same time. When they have to go down sequentially, we’ve learned through trial and error that it works best to get the Bear in bed first because, when he gets too tired, it’s not a pretty scene.

The routine thus goes something like this: Little Bear bath, then Naked Baby Time, then jammies and boob, then bed. Then Mouse bath, followed by jammies, stories, prayers, a song and bed. Whew. All of this takes about an hour. Sometimes Miss Mouse is content to play in her room by herself while I nurse Little Bear and put him down, but lately she’s wanted to be in there with us — helping.

Some aspects of her assistance are truly charming. Like when she “helps rock little brother” by rocking the ottoman back and forth. Or when she holds his binky for me until he needs it. And I dare you to find anything sweeter than a two-year-old singing “Puff the Magic Dragon” to her baby brother. I dare you.

But she inevitably gets antsy, too, and some moments are touch and go. Like when she had a fit of stomp-i-ness and decided to go marching around the room. Or the few minutes when she absolutely could not restrain herself from giving Little Bear noogies while he was nursing. Yes, noogies. She didn’t call it that, and she wasn’t doing it particularly hard, but I still contemplated sitting on her.

The moment when we came the closest to disaster though was when she spied her arch-nemesis: the stink bug. One of the darned things was creeping along the wall near the nightlight. She started to get pretty worked up but I promised to dispose of the vile thing after I put Little Bear to bed and she settled down. Though the issue did come up again as I was putting her to bed. She needed reassurance that I was going to take care of it before she could go to sleep.

Fear not, dear one. I’ll take care of the bug.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I’ll actually make Josh take care of the bug. They’re gross.

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