I think it's quite well established now that I love a ritual or routine.I find comfort in doing something the same way, every day, without changing a single bit. Like I mentioned a few days ago, Bea and I are coming into a final few days or weeks of breastfeeding. With that comes the opportunity to change well-established Bedtime Routine. And, as you can probably guess, I've got a few reservations about it...
Our current routine looks something like this:
7:15ish: Naked Time (our child may be a "Naturalist" someday because of this, but those cloth diapers can be a little stuffy and sometimes a girl just needs to air it out).
7:30ish: Bath time and a quick visit to check in on That Baby
7:45ish: Night Nursing to sleep.
7:50sh-8:15ish (if she nurses): I hold, cuddle and rock Beatrice Kate to sleep.
It's during this time that I do the same, exact routine every. single. night. Once she falls asleep, I usually hold her in close and give her a hug or a kiss on the top of the head. I like to sniff her freshly washed, baby-shampooed hair and breathe in her baby-ness. Then, I'll usually just sit and stare at her for a bit; still not believing that Casey and I really created her, saying a pray for her, and for being thankful that I was chosen to be her mother. After that, we'll get up and I'll slowly carry her back to her room and lay her down in her crib and sneak out.
When Casey and I go to bed, I always go back into her room, using my phone as a flashlight, and put my hand on her chest to feel it rise and fall. When she was super tiny, and her "soft spot" was still fresh, I could feel on the top of her head for a pulse. That had to be the greatest design feature God ever came up with.
I have a friend who always said that at every stage of her triplets' development, she proclaimed it as her "favorite stage". I understand now, totally, what she means. Everyday I think that I don't want Beatrice Kate to grow any older or change anymore because I love her so much as she is rightthisverysecond. Yet, as she inevitably does, I'm amazed at how much I love the new stage just as much, if not more.
So maybe, I'll enjoy our new bed routine as well. I know that I can't wait to share our love of reading with her, so maybe we'll introduce a "book before bed" feature or a family devotional time. Either way, I can promise you that I cherish every, tiny millisecond that she allows me to cuddle her now.
PS: As I'm typing this, I can hear her in her crib, refusing to take a nap and dragging her pacifier across the crib rails like she's in baby jail... maybe this "growing up thing" isn't such a bad thing after all...