Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rock-a-bye Joy

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...


Anonymous said...

It's Kristie, from the park this morning. I've been perusing your blog a little and noticed how you connected with the sensory need of your daughter. Way to go! We feel the same way about our little boy and were fortunate to find a provider who does ABA with sensory understanding.
Come to think of it, I hope you check your comments....!

JoyMama said...

Hi Kristie! Oh yes, I check comments... I'm loving the way I'm "meeting" people online, and that this is not just a one-way communication street. It was great to meet you both yesterday. Here's hoping that your stay in town brings everything you're looking for! If you ever want to be in touch directly, my e-mail address is in the blog sidebar.

Anonymous said...

The time when I'm rocking Joy to sleep is about my favorite part of the day. It's also about the only time she sits still long enough to be held. It's gotten to be part of the routune, to the point where she can be bouncing off the walls one minute, and falling into a snooze the next...

Her older sister is a bit too big to be rocked like that anymore. Sigh...

Anonymous said...

It's awesome to see how good Joy is at filling in words for her song, Rock-a-bye Joy. Very sweet!

Casdok said...

Sounds wonderful. Rountines are so important. :)

Anonymous said...

it is such a joy (i swear, i did not mean that ridiculous pun, no really, i SWEAR) to hear other families' bedtime rituals.

i find it to be by far the best and most connected time of the day.

thanks so much for sharing!

Unknown said...

I read your post the other day and thought I'd craft a response, as it happens it took longer than I expected to reply (y'know, parenting 'n all).Actually this is the first time I've commented on a blog and I have just begun blogging myself. Anyway,I really like yours and Joydad's style so I'll be a regular reader.It's so cool to be able to read about other parents experiences and find similarities in other kids. I love that you have researched and read more than I, too - the elvis sighting concept made me laugh out loud.
I have a son Gypsy who is 15 years old. Gypsy loves,I mean LOVES to sing "Row Your Boat" and our last verse has to be "Row, row , row your boat gently down the stream, if you see a crocodile don't forget to scream" to which he lets out a huge ARRRHHHH.
Actually he's obsessed with it and his main verbal communication apart from the occasional elvis sighting like 'sss' for yes, is to immediately grab anyone who comes within range's hands and say "Ro Ro" to try to get them to perform. Even little babies!
We have another verse at the end "...don't forget to scream quietly" and he'll do a cute little quiet scream, (for those occasions where yelling isn't appreciated).

Just recently he has started doing a scream at the end of one of his favorite story books, when a parrot and a cat come across a pack of curious dogs behind a door. The 'scream' is the sound the parrot makes as it flies away. I thought that might be useful for you - maybe there are other books that include 'cracking' sounds and such so you could expand on Joy's vocalisations? Probably something you've already thought of but I decided to mention it anyway.
Thanks for the reads.

JoyMama said...

Stela - welcome to the blogosphere, and thanks for the account of Gypsy filling in the words! Joy used to do "Row, row" too, though her scream at the end of the crocodile verse was always a scream-quietly little "aaa." That's one of the items that has vanished for now, but we ought to try again. Also, I love the idea of thinking of other songs and poems with a "ccck" in them. Joy doesn't really let us read books to her, because she wants to be in control of the pages, but poems and songs work well.

Next time drop a link to your blog, let me (& other readers) check it out!