Most parenting books/magazines/websites will tell you that you should instill a bedtime routine with your baby to help them sleep better. This routine generally consists of baths, books, blah blah blah.
We have a bedtime routine. While we don’t bathe Annmarie every night (she gets a bath 3-4 times a week) – we pretty much do the same steps. We change her outfit (she used to sleep in footed PJs but it is so damn hot upstairs in our house that we just put her in a onesie now). We put her in a disposable diaper (gasp! I go back and forth about this but disposables last longer and seem easier at night. Anyone know of a good overnight cloth diaper technique?). I nurse her. We read a book to her. And then we put her in her crib.
I usually stroke her face a little bit and say goodnight. Jeremy kisses her goodnight.
Jeremy and I were chatting about what we remembered about our bedtime routines. Jeremy said he remembers having his mom scratch his back (I can’t remember how old… elementary school age). And then he reached a point where he had to have his room pitch black. His mom had sewn black-out curtains for him. He covered every light glowing from a device (stereo, TV, etc.) with tape. If there was a light on in the hallway, he put a towel at the foot of the door. Crazy, right?
So he asked me if I remembered MY bedtime routine. While I don’t remember my mom ever doing anything specific, I remember how batshit crazy and paranoid I was as a child (and this carried over until adulthood). I blame all of the horror movies my parents let me watch as a kid. Seriously? They let me watch Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Candyman… AS AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILD. WTF, mom and dad?
Where do I begin?
1. My closet doors had to be COMPLETELY shut. They couldn’t even be cracked open because if there was a crack… the psychotic murderer hiding in my closet would come out and kill me.
2. I couldn’t have any part of my body exposed from under a blanket (from the neck down) because if even my foot was hanging out… the psychotic murderer hiding in my room would chop it off.
3. I couldn’t have any part of my body hanging over the bed because if my hand was hanging over… the psychotic murderer hiding under my bed would chop it off.
4. I used to sleep with a ton of pillows surrounding me. I had one under my head, one to the left of my head, one to the right of my head and one propped behind my head. I know exactly where this stemmed from. It was from a Friday the 13th movie (the one with Kevin Bacon!). Jason reached his hand from behind the bed (he was underneath) and stabbed Kevin Bacon in the neck:
THIS SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF ME. And for some reason, I thought a bevy of pillows around my head would protect me (just like the blanket would somehow protect me).
5. While the bed in my parents house was positioned so that the foot of it faced the door, my bizarre paranoia carried over into adulthood. I could NOT sleep with my back to the door until I was pregnant because I was sure that someone would sneak into my room and stab me. I’m not sure why that was more frightening than actually seeing someone walk into my room with a knife.
The only reason pregnancy broke this habit was because I was told that I should sleep on my left side (and Annmarie would let me know this preference as well in utero by uncomfortably kicking the crap out of me if I tried to sleep on my right side).
But really – how batshit crazy was I as a child? Let this be a lesson to all of you parents out there. Don’t let your child watch horror movies!