At the same given time on almost every night of the week you can count on me doing pretty much the same thing.
We have a routine.
We love a routine. I love a routine. They love a routine.
It helps them know where they are, what is expected and the boundaries they can push. It helps me know where I'm at and read their signs, be it tried, hungry, bored or just irritable, etc
But it's the night routine I love the most.
We have it down pat and I think if something works well it's worth sharing!
I was told years ago, "If their under 7, the times are 5, 6, 7"
Meaning, dinner at 5pm, bath at 6pm and bed at 7pm. For us it has worked fantastically.
(I am the proud owner of a 7 year old now though, so whilst she still has to go to bed at 7pm, she can read until 7.30, which is lights out.)
First we have dinner. I don't actually eat with the kids, but I sit at the table with them and we discuss each others day. It is nice listening to their stories that otherwise could get missed.
Bath. These days Rouge goes in first, then the other 2 join her so that for a while they are all in together. (luckily we have a spacious bath) Once I get her out, the others are old enough to be left unattended to enjoy some quiet, imaginative play, or splashing arguments together....all depends on their day!
Once Rouge is dressed and toasty, her and I move into our winter ritual. It's our job to get the heat bags ready for the beds. Each child has their own heat bag, ( made using an old sock/rice but will post that later ) which we microwave and place under the covers of each bed. All this is done while Stooge and Bib get themselves out and dressed.
Once all 3 are dressed and congregated on the lounge, they get a honey, lemon, ginger to drink while watching 'toon time'.
At 7pm (toon time finishing is the cue) we trot off to brush teeth, choose a book each, climb into bed and listen to each others stories being read.
At this point Dad is usually walking in the door just in time for kisses and that final tuck in.
I love it. They know the drill, they know their day is over and their bodies need to recharge.
I love it cause I know their getting the sleep they need to begin their day strong and in time to share brekkie with dad.
I love it, because it gives Pip and I that time to talk, share, discuss, sew, email, blog........
Sure, not every night goes so smooth, and there is always the exception but more often than not you can simultaneously hear snoring with the chink of wine glasses before 7.30pm in this house :)
Do you have a routine? Is there a ritual that works in your house you can share?