By Christine Anderson
Here is a bedtime post as everyone gets tucked into bed. At our house lately, we like to read this book before bed along with The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds that I blogged about last week. Our two-year-old refers to it as the book where Melanie does not listen to her mommy; the bunnies didn't listen to Mamma and Daddy either . . . I am seeing a theme here in his favorite books.
Bedtime! is Christine Anderson's first book to have published, so this book may be harder to find at your local library than others. In the story, Melanie is busy building very important towers and elephant houses and does not have time to get ready for bed like her mother says. Melanie's mom decides that someone should get ready for bed, so she proceeds to let the family dog, Bart, take Melanie's place. When Melanie catches on that someone else gets to enjoy the good parts of her bedtime routine--like special pajamas, goonight kisses from Daddy, and favorite bedtime stories--she decides her block building is maybe not so important.
Bedtime can be a stressful part of the day--Mom's and Dad's energy wanes, kiddos get wound up or grumpy, and nobody wants to end all the fun the day has held. Yet, bedtime can also be one of the tenderest times of the day. You get to snuggle up with your kiddos, read a story maybe, hear about the parts of the day they enjoyed, and usually, when all settles down you might hear a sweet "goodnight" or "I love you" peep out of your little one's mouth. Every parent lives for those moments, and sometimes bedtime is the only time of day where we get a chance to slow down and really savor what it means to be family.
Make It Come to Life
So maybe you will not do a craft or fieldtrip or activity to go along with this book. Possibly you will just check the book out from your libray and add it to your nightly routine for a while. You can talk about Melanie's nightime routine and compare it to your family's and see if maybe you can, as a family, think of something special to add to your bedtime routine that everyone can look forward to. At out house, we've been enjoying what we call "Toddler Radio" on Pandora. Actually, the station we usually tune in to is called "Family Folk Songs." Listening to this at home and in the car is a FREE way to here a smittering of family-friendly and fun-for-kiddos songs. The Laurie Berkner Band is a frequent play on this station, and a great bedtime song we have learned from this artist is "Goodnight." Click here for the lyrics, then go to her site and have a listen (or download it from iTunes or buy the Victor Vitoalbum from Amazon). We have started singing this one at bedtime and it is
fun to have your child choose which animals to sing about--you can sing the
ones from the song and then add more depending on how long you want to sing
goodnight to each other. Happy sleeping!