animals · bedtime stories · meditation · slice of life

Guess Who?

After we finished reading Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, I shut the light, and we meditated using the Headspace app. While guided meditation used to help Ari fall asleep, he’s gotten sillier during the wind-down exercises each night. Sometimes I notice his eyes are open while other nights I notice he isn’t laying on his back like the instructor suggests. Lately, Ari has been having one of his stuffies, Oreo (who really didn’t need to come to live with us — just sayin’.), sigh during the meditation. This evening, all three of those things happened.

Once the meditation finished, I said, “I’m going to ask you a question and I want you an honest answer. My feelings will not be hurt, no matter what you say. Okay? Will you be honest?”

“Yes,” Ari said peering back at me in the dim darkness.

“I’ve noticed you seem less focused during the guided meditations. Would you like to keep doing them or would you rather have extra snuggle time with Mommy?”

“Extra snuggle time,” he answered immediately.

“Really?” I asked since that wasn’t what I expected to hear.

“Really,” he replied. After a beat, Ari shoved one of his stuffies up to my face. “Guess who!” he said.

It was pretty dark. I couldn’t see whose nose was rubbing mine.

“Well, the nose is soft so it’s an animal from Team Soft Guy.” (Ari recently divided his animals into Team Hard Guy and Team Soft Guy to describe their noses.)

“Guess who it is!” Ari said stroking the animal’s fur against my face.

“Percy?” I asked.

“That’s right!”

This continued about three more times until I said, “How about I try two out on you and then we say good night.”

“No, ten!”

“We’re not doing this ten more times. It’s past your bedtime,” I replied.

Ari giggled as Barnsie went nose-to-nose with him.

“My bedtime is 9 p.m.”

“No, your bedtime is 8:30 p.m. and it’s 8:38 p.m. Three more and that’s it.”

“How about five more?”

“Three more. Final offer,” I said.

Ari quickly learned that it was hard to determine who was nuzzling his nose with his eyes closed! (Perhaps if he didn’t have 15 stuffies in his bed this would be easier, but that wasn’t the case.) He figured out one of the three… and then it was time for sleep.

Starting tomorrow night, we will take a break from Headspace after storytime. However, I have a feeling some version of this game will show up once we turn off the overhead light.

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.
bedtime stories · meditation · slice of life

BB Who?

“I want baby eight mindful breathing,” Ari told me after we finished reading a second picture book.

“What?” I asked Ari.

“Baby eight. Mindful breathing,” Ari replied with more emphasis.

Headspace recently added a bunch of a Star Wars breathing exercises and guided meditations.

“What’s baby eight?” I asked.

“B. B. 8! The mindful breathing with BB-8.” Ari replied.

“Oh!” I understood.

But I really didn’t understand. I may have realized Ari was asking me to do a one-minute, Star-Wars-themed breathing exercise, but I don’t even know who BB-8 is. I never watched “Star Wars” as a kid. A college friend was aghast by this and showed me “Star Wars” one Saturday night freshman year. I fell asleep on it.

We did the one-minute breathing exercise with BB-8 (whoever/whatever it is). Then we did a kids’ guided meditation. Finally, I said good night.

Just as I settled into bed around 9:15, a visitor came into my bedroom.

“I can’t sleep,” Ari declared.

“I see that,” I replied.

“Don’t you want this blanket over your legs?” he asked noticing I had an ice pack on my ankle, but wasn’t covered up.

“I am cold. Is that why you came in here?” I replied.

He smiled.

“Okay, I’ll take the blanket,” I said.

Ari tossed the blanket over my legs and then made himself at home in my bed.

Around 9:30 p.m., I realized it had been about an hour since we meditated in Ari’s room and about 50 minutes since I said “good-night” to him. And look who was still beside me:

Apparently, we wear stripes on Mondays.
Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.
meditation · rituals · slice of life

Nighttime Meditation

Every night,

After a shower has been taken,

Teeth have been brushed,

A bladder has been emptied,

Stories have been read,

Lights have been turned off,

White noise has been turned on, and

Prayers have been said,

It’s time for a nightly meditation.

Every night,

After a meditation has been selected,

Ari lays on his back,

With Fluffy by his side.

Every night,

After Ari settles his head on his pillow,

He lays Fluffy on his back,

Paws up,

Snout facing the ceiling,

So that Fluffy — too —

Can meditate with us

Before we say

“Good night.”

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.
meditation · slice of life

Finding Some Headspace #SOL21

I woke up earlier than usual this morning. I thought I heard one of the kids’ doors open and close a couple of times. No one came in so I assumed it was Isabelle going back and forth to the bathroom. I was wrong.* After the third time, a teary-eyed boy plodded into my room and stood beside my bed.

“Mommy, I had a bad dream.”

“That’s unusual for you, buddy. Do you want to come in and snuggle?”

“Hold on a minute, I’ve gotta go and get Patchy.”

Ari ran down the hall, retrieved his stuffed dog, and was climbing into the center of the bed in a flash.

“Do you remember what your bad dream was about?” I asked him once he was snuggled under the covers.

“Um, uh, uh…”

“It’s okay if you don’t remember,” I replied.

“I don’t remember,” he said forlornly.

“That’s okay. Do you need help calming down?” I asked.

Ari nodded.

“Every morning, before I start my day, I always do a meditation exercise. I use an app on my phone. There’s a section for kids. I’ve tried some of these with your sister before. Why don’t we try do a short one together.”

“Okay,” he sniffled.

I selected “Calm,” which had the same familiar voice, Andy Puddicombe, who leads my daily meditation sessions. I was unsure if Ari would last the full five minutes, but he surprised me by following Andy’s instructions from the get-go. Andy told us to breathe in through our nose and exhale through our mouth and Ari and I followed his lead.

Later in the calming meditation, Andy asked us to wiggle different body parts and then let them rest. Ari did exactly as he was asked. I was impressed.

When the meditation as over, I asked Ari, “Do you feel calmer?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Calm enough to head back to your room?”

“No, I wanna stay with you,” he replied.

“Well, I’m going to do my meditation now. So if you stay, you have to be silent so I can focus on my meditation.

Ari was quiet and still for two minutes. Eventually, he left the room in search of adventure. Where was his next adventure? His \ big sister’s room.

And, thus, our day began.

*= You know how I know I was wrong? Ari went into Isabelle’s room to wake her up two minutes into my meditation. She was fast asleep. (Of course, he woke her.)

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.