Bedtime Routines (& My Bizarre Fears as a Child)

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!



Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds, Charm City Kim Rambles

12 responses to “Bedtime Routines (& My Bizarre Fears as a Child)

  1. Meredith

    So the psychotic murderer in your closet didn’t know how to open the door? Lol.

    I had a monster who lived in the radiator in my bedroom and would come out at night and force me to eat sweet potatoes.

  2. I can’t have my feet or hands hanging over the edge of the bed to this day. I don’t care.

  3. I wasn’t quite that extreme, but I didn’t like to have any part of me hanging over the side of the bed or exposed (still don’t), and I couldn’t sleep with my back to the door. And, I didn’t like sleeping on the side of the bed that against a wall. For some reason I thought monsters lived in that crack… or something.

  4. TreeTownHugh

    Ditto 1 and 3 still today. The house could be on fire and I won’t get out of bed. Open closet door and I’m up in a flash to close. I think #3 is from Poltergeist movie.

  5. Quinn

    Ummm, did you crawl into my psyche? Each and every one of those are things I do – and still do. The other night a foot was exposed and I quickly covered it – despite the fact that it was hot as balls in our house. And, Geoff sleeps closer to the door – they have to take him first.

    We love our routine with Charlotte. It gives them security, and each time gets easier.

  6. Stacy

    I can’t use a washcloth on my whole face at once because I’m terrified someone will suffocate me!

    And I like to sleep with things around my neck for the same reason – except I never saw the movie (thank god!)…

  7. I did all of those things too except the pillows. I would also do a big leap to the bed so as not to get too close in case something reached out from underneath and grabbed my foot.

    Until this year (I’m 32), I wouldn’t have a cat or let one in my room. I think it’s some Pet Cemetery fear although I don’t really recall seeing the movie. I was always afraid the cat would lay on my chest and suck the breath out of my mouth and suffocate me.

    I was not moderated as a child whatsoever.

  8. Holy fucking chimp balls! That’s insane! I’m starting to think that maybe my parents’ “no violent movies” policy wasn’t such a bad one.

    I’ve never had any kind of sleep-based fears, per say. Since I was a kid, I’ve always dropped off into hard, drooling sleep within 10 minutes. However, I’ve recently discovered that if I don’t sleep with one leg tucked up to my chest, I feel like I’m going to fall over. It’s like I need a tripod. Don’t ask me how that works, I don’t know, but if I have to sleep with my legs straight I feel like someone’s taken my security blanket away. It messes me up.

  9. Shanea

    No crazy sleep time fears here. Thank goodness. You would think that falling asleep to The First 48 or Dateline ID would give me the willies but nope.
    For a good cd night option, at your daughter’s age my son would make it through the night in a Goodmama fitted with a Thirsties cover, or he would do a wool cover. Wool is bullet proof so no leaks. But really disposable at night is a great compromise. I would not do anything to disturb my sleep:)

  10. Chris

    When I was about 6 or 7, I was CONVINCED vampires would come to get me, so I always slept with a blanket pulled up to my neck. That helped, or so I rationalized.

    Also, my god mother made a Raggedy Andy doll for me, that was about the size of a toddler. It sat on a toybox in my room and CREEPED ME OUT! I thought it would come to life and kill me – ala Chucky

  11. Glad to know I’m not the only one who’s an absolute nut. Closet doors must be closed. Couldn’t hang my hand over the side of the bed. I wasn’t afraid that the murderer would chop it off, but rather I’d be bitten by the snakes slithering under my bed. And you always have to be covered by a blanket. Murders are more likely not to notice you if you have a blanket over you.

  12. Traci

    You forgot checking under the bed and then running and jumping into it so that a hand doesn’t grab you! I am completely the same…closet doors must be completely shut or I can’t sleep a wink:-)

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