There's another very important routine to write about tonight -- the bedtime routine.
Bath is generally every other night, but the rest is very predictable: first, I install the double-diaper and the jammies. Then JoyDad gets out the seizure meds, four chewable pills and one oral syringe (she's very good about taking them, thank goodness!) Then some practice with drinking water from an open cup, to wash it all down.
Then I get another turn, holding Joy across my lap on the couch to brush her teeth. She's gotten quite good about letting me get in there with a little toothbrush and toddler toothpaste, though sometimes she shows a bit of displeasure by biting on the bristles! Then after I've done a reasonable job, I put the brush into her hand. "Here's 'one'," I say, and she takes several swipes at her teeth and tries to give the brush back. "Here's 'two'," comes next, and maybe a single swipe. "Oh, do better," I cajole, helping her swipe a bit more. Then, "Here's 'three'," and if she makes a good effort, toothbrushing for the evening is done.
Then it's JoyDad's turn once more. He gets to cradle Joy in the livingroom rocking chair, while I hang out on the couch with Rose for some bedtime reading.
"Rock-a-bye Joy, on the treetop,
when the wind blows..."
and then he pauses and waits. We've been doing this for years, and Joy had gotten quite good at blowing a bit of air between her lips. Then for several disappointing months, it disappeared, but lately it's back again! Joy says, "Whfff!"
"Joy will rock.
When the bough breaks..." another pause. Joy says, "Cccckkh!" for the sound of the breaking branch.
"Joy will fall,
and down will come Joy, cradle and..." pause pause pause... Joy concludes, "Ahhh!"
Next comes "Twinkle, twinkle" with more pauses for Joy's input. And then JoyDad talks softly with her about the day, and reviews things she did and saw. When she's had enough, she tells him "bye-bye!" (which at one point was "nigh-nigh!" but has since morphed.)
When it's "bye-bye" time, he brings her around for kisses: one from JoyMama, one from Rose, then one (or several) from Daddy himself. Then it's off to zip her into her tented crib, usually for an uninterrupted night.
Sweet dreams, sweet Joy!
P.S. As I was contemplating writing about Joy's bedtime, I became aware of two other lovely recent posts on bedtime routines/rituals, one from rhemashope that led me to another from jess wilson. Blessings upon all our sleeping kiddos...