Ever since Isabelle became interested in reading MG novels before bedtime, I’ve been the parent who reads them to her at bedtime. We’ve read everything from Operation Frog Effect to Maggie Muggie to the Pacy Lin books to The Dollshop Downstairs. We finished The Higher Power of Lucky over the weekend. Now we’re reading The Hundred Dresses. Lots of great titles, right?
I’m worried all of that reading doesn’t make up for the fact that Ari isn’t getting my attention at bedtime unless Marc is working late (and I need to tuck both kids into bed). Quite frankly, I didn’t really think twice about the fact that Marc has been tucking Ari into bed until last night.
For the past couple of months, Ari has been coming into my bedroom between 9:30 – 10:00 p.m. a few nights a week. At first, Ari said a noise woke him. After a few nights, I realized I didn’t hear any night noises. Then we thought he wasn’t relaxed, so I suggested he and Marc do some of Headspace’s Sleep programs with Ari. While Ari’s visits lessened, they didn’t disappear.
Lately, though, Ari has been giving me a ballpark figure of when he’ll come into my room to see me at night. Ari knows he’ll find me reading in bed so he just plods in, lays beside me, stays for a few minutes, and then retreats to his bedroom when I tell Ari it’s time to go back to bed.
Last night, I asked Ari — as I do many nights — if anything was bothering him. He said, “no.”
I asked Ari if there was anything on his mind or heart he wanted to discuss with me. He said, “no.”
I asked Ari if he was lonely in his room by himself. He said, “no.”
“So, buddy, why do you keep coming in here at night?”
“Because I want to snuggle with you,” he replied matter-of-factly.
“I could snuggle with you before you go to bed,” I replied.
“But you’re putting Isabelle to sleep. So that’s why I just come in here after bedtime. Then I can snuggle with you.”
Oh my heart. All he wants is… me. My undivided attention at bedtime. That’s it.
That’s when I realized we are getting the bedtime thing wrong. As soon as we finish The Hundred Dresses, it’s going to be time for Marc and I to alternate who puts the kids to bed at night so Ari gets more Mommy snuggle time in. Besides, it won’t hurt for Marc and Isabelle to read some novels together!