No doubt I will, sooner or later, write a post about my frustrations with Uli's bedtime routine. However, before I write that post--possibly in an attempt to distracting myself from writing it tonight--I will list the things I enjoy about bedtime with Uli. Trying to focus on the positive, you know.
Really, there are many very special and happy things about bedtime:
I love the joy she finds in running around unclothed after her bath. She seriously loves being naked and, well, it's adorable.
I love that she enjoys picking out pajamas and is willing to let me dress her. If she's quicker than I (and, let's face it, she often is) she'll snag extra pieces of clothing from her drawers and cuddle them; I find the mussing of the folded clothes somewhat annoying, but seeing her wrap a pair of pants around herself and nuzzle them against her cheek is amusing.
I love that she wants me to read to her. 3, 4, 5 books a night. Poetry books. Picture books. I love that she sits in my lap and leans back against me, twirling her hair while I read. It's peaceful.
I love that when we're finished reading I can say, "Lie down, honey. I'll turn off the light and come nurse you," and she'll lay down her little head and wait for me to crawl into bed with her.
I love her calm tone when she says, "Mama, Mama" and pats my face when she takes a break from nursing. It's a gentle I love you that is perfect in its simplicity.
I love her warm little body snuggled next to mine.
I love the way her legs go from flying every which way to a slow up and down and finally rest quietly as she slips into slumber.
I love her deep sigh she falls asleep at last and rolls away from me onto her other side.
Whatever other frustrations I have about our nighttime routine, these precious moments are true gifts. I cannot imagine my nights without my daughter and her joyful running, happy reading, gentle words, and deep sleepy sighs.
'Night, 'night, baby doll.