The 5 Steps in Toddler Dragon’s Bedtime Routine

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Having children gives you a serious appreciation for the absurd. The Toddler Dragon’s bedtime routine has constantly evolved. This past week it’s hit peak silly.

Here are The 5 Steps in Toddler Dragon’s Bedtime Routine:

Step 1: The Cleanup

This is the step where we help her clean up her toys. Jen starts while I pour milk and cut cheese and then I take over while she drinks and eats.

There are only two ways this step goes. Shockingly easy or maddeningly difficult.

The Dragon will either be eager to please and go to bed or mischievously stubborn. On the difficult modes, she’ll bury herself in pillows, run around, and giggle at our frustration. Sometimes I give up and pick her up while making helicopter noises. She can’t run away and picks up the toys.

Sometimes this has all the excitement of an Easter egg hunt.

Step 2: The Chase

She insists on turning on the light on the stairs and the monitor. Even when she tells me to “DO IT!” like a bad 90’s sitcom, she gets annoyed if she didn’t do it herself. Then she runs away to our bedroom, either the master bath or closet. She stands in the dark until we come get her.

Once he have her, we get her onto the toilet for her first GOPEE! This is usually followed by an angry no and nomore.

After the toilet, her hands get washed and she runs back to our room staring into the depth of our unlit closet or shower.

Step 3: The Wrestling

Next comes the pyjamas. Her current ones have Stitch on them (you are what you wear?) and getting her into them is sort of like wrestling a small giggling bear. Some days it is affectionate, some days it’s squirmy, and some days you get bitten.

Once all this is done, I pick her up and throw her onto the pillow on mum’s lap for tooth brushing.

That’s when I go to the washroom and the Dragon gets read a story and nursed a little.

This normally ends with her second GOPEE!

Step 4: The Random

Before she GOESPEE, she kisses her Mum goodnight. Then we GOPEE, this usually involves counting toes. I will count and she’ll cut me off with, “One, One, Two, One, Two, Three, Quatre, Six, Huit, Dix!”

From there, I wrestle her into her diaper, she squeezes her squeaky Totoro and says, “Toto-oh”.

Then I ask if she’d like me to sing, tell her a story, or just hang out. (I miss singing and telling stories.) She says NO Sleep! So I awkwardly position myself on her toddler bed and toy box. (I’m a big guy and I really don’t want to break the mattress or bed.) And pretend to snore.

She then climbs on to me and makes me get off the bed. She jumps on my back like a horse rider and I get three steps before she make me lie down on my stomach.

And the highlight (for her) of the night is that she gets to play with the mole on my back… 😐

The past few nights she’s found it hilarious to try and lick said mole. Every time I say, “Don’t lick me.” she bursts into giggles. We then argue about licking until Mum comes back from brushing her teeth and doing her back exercises.

Step 5: The Stall

Mum nurses the Dragon and sings her wonderful songs. (I’m jealous of both of them.)

After the first song we get GOPEE! number three. This one usually gets pee if I bribe her with playing with the mole on my neck.

“Mole!” she says.

“Only if you pee,” I reply, wondering how this conversation became common place.

Next we have more nursing and when it’s all over Jen puts her to bed and tells her to stay in bed. This is followed within a minute by GOPEE! number four. This one is normally just a stalling tactic.

When that’s done, she runs to the master bedroom (diaper less) and gives mom a kiss and hug. (Sometimes an accidental kick or punch.)

I then put her to bed and tell her to stay in bed. That she isn’t a baby anymore and that big kids stay in bed.

This is followed within 5 minutes with GOPEE! number five. I only bring her to the washroom for this one if she’s peed for 3 and 4.

I then put her to bed and tell her to stay in bed. That she isn’t a baby anymore and that big kids stay in bed.

From this point she either goes to sleep or I have to sit with her until she falls asleep.

The whole thing takes maybe 30 minutes and is completely surreal.

We’re completely lucky that she’s this easy but sometimes I really wish I had access to the Dungeons & Dragons spell Sleep.

Later Days,

Éric

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