Thursday, 2 July 2009

Silent Escape

I am an appreciator, or more accurately, an observer, that routines are subject to change.

They change with age, with mood, with season and without any notice.

In the early-ish stages of single parenthood simple changes to the routine, like sleep times moving, different food types being consumed, or newly rejected, used to really mess with my yin and yang.

I would be well and truly out of kilter, wherever that is.

These would only have to be tiny amendments, and I suppose being taken out of my evolving comfort zone, however subtly, my discomfort was amplified by my newly widowed, and sole parenting, statuses.

Rationale always helped, and a new normal, and my relief within it, was never that far away. Although it may have felt like an age at the time.

The bed time procedure has always been one I have applied consistency to. Well, from my end anyway.

There are exceptions, but never enough to have a sizeable impact on the effectiveness of the general, and practised, process.

At the moment the status quo is; bath time, dry and comb hair in front of the television, a drink and biscuit, toilet, teeth brushed, bottle of fresh water for night time drink, in bed, stories, kiss, cuddle and mutual love declaration, then sleep.

The number of stories usually reflected by the hour, and how close we are to my target bedtime, also extra for positive behaviour, and there may be more stories if shorter books are chosen.

But we have always entered into a negotiation. A process I always seek clarification and acceptance of, before we actually start the reading.

This method has operated with only minor glitches for a good time, probably nearing something like two years.

And sleep has usually quickly followed our kisses, without the need for me to be in the room.

However recently, and with a dawning grief process, my son has needed a little more reassurance and thus this protocol has been somewhat amended.

I have been staying with my boy post cuddle and kiss, while he settles down. Mindful of slipping into a trap of having to always be there to get Max to sleep, I have limited this, and still leave the room prior to the sleep descending.

This has not been without reluctance, and I have quite frequently left the room to only return to re-settle my boy down, before eventually leaving him to get of to the land of nod successfully.

My usually rule of thumb is if I leave the room to silence, sleep will ensue.

But if I get a ‘daddy’ it will be quickly followed by a ‘don’t leave me’ and then the re-settling process.

That has been fairly consistent, as has been my sighing before I about-turn back to his bed.

Then one night this week the ‘daddy’ - the ‘sighing’ - and the ‘about-turn’ were played out, but what followed was new to the process.

“I love you daddy.”

Now that is a change, and addition, that can stay.



SandyCalico said...

Aww, that's so sweet. The bedtime routine is a special time of day. Fingers crossed for less sighing though!

Kori said...

You are a good daddy.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You bring tears to my eyes. It is such a wonderful feeling to hear your children's declaration of love isn't it.

CJ xx

DiaperPin Up Girl said...

reading and loving

get to the end?


You're a good dad.

SciFi Dad said...

My daughter had a hard time getting to sleep a couple of nights ago until I got an idea: I gave her the t-shirt I was wearing, and told her it was almost like having me in her room. She fell asleep right away, but asked for it again the next night.

Preschoolers are prone to addiction.

Catharine Withenay said...

The most precious words from your child - I love you. I'm sure you are giving him all the confidence he needs, so keep a little bit of confidence for yourself that you are doing the right thing.

Bee and Rose said...

What a moving post! I love bedtime rituals...they are special times, indeed...

The perfect ending to the day..."I love you, Daddy"...your heart must be very full:)

Really Rachel said...

Oh that's lovely! Your patience and caring are paying off :o)

Erin said...

I'M JEALOUS. It's not that smooth for us and it darn well used to be!
I will say that I've had a few recalls that ended with "I love you" and ... it's pretty nice. But mostly I just want to get to my glass of wine and learning to use social media!
Wish she loved bed as much as I...... SIGH.
( also, sorry to hear there is some grieving happening - I send you support)

Sandy said...

Beautiful post....amazing to see a man so able to express himself.

rosiescribble said...

Brought a tear to me eye too. Must be difficult for him, the worry that who'll leave him too. You're doing a great job of reassuring him and it can only get easier.

Had been planning to leave a silly, sarky coment on your blog but then you go and do a moving post like this!

Solo-Dad said...

Tears across the pond as well. I know that moment and wish you many more.

Thumbelina said...


A hope for many more where they came from

clareybabble said...

Ahhh what a lovely post! We get through bedtime with very little drama...for now!

Jo Beaufoix said...

That was so lovely. Sad that there are struggles and that he has worries, but lovely that he can share them with you and give so much back.

SInce mine and Mr B's split, Miss M has been a little harder to settle, as has Miss E if I'm honest, but we're getting there. The 'I love you's' make it all worth it though. Tonight we went to see Ice Age 3 in 3D for one of E's friend's birthdays. It has dinosaurs so a certain little boy might like it. About half way through M grabbed my head and whispered in my ear, "I'm having a lovely time Mummy.'

I nearly melted. It's the spontaneity of it that is just so moving isn't it?

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