This is a piece I shared on Facebook a few weeks back. I thought I would post it to the blog with a few tweaks and updates added in. This routine has worked so well that we have set a routine of sorts for getting the twins to bed each night. In the last few weeks I have tried to be very consistent with the twins and their nap time so they get more sleep. I know this will change too fast but I sure do enjoy this time each day.
Usually we are in the family room playing, dancing, watching any tv show with animals in it, or just on the floor together with music playing, but no matter what, nap time starts like this.
I mention to the twins its nap time, time for night nights, or going to sleep in their crib or playpen. This is their trigger and they know what to do next. So I start walking for the playpen that Jacqueline sleeps in downstairs. The twins follow, and often they even pass me. Theodore turns on the fan near the playpen, they need their ‘white noise’. He continues to the playpen and tags it like he’s trying to knock it over. Jacqueline follows right to the crib and reaches up for me. I pick her up and tell her to put her head down and go to sleep at which time she puts her head on my shoulder and hugs me. I tell her to say good night to her brother who is usually still right at my feet. They look at each other and wave. I place Jacqueline in the playpen with a kiss and say “go to sleep honey”. She lies flat on her back with her head on her pillow. She also giggles while I tuck a blanket around her and maybe tickle her at the same time. Meanwhile in those couple of seconds Theodore races for the stairs. I catch him and allow him to climb them while I guide. At the top of the stairs there is no delay, he takes a left turn and heads for their room. Every time it’s the same thing, turn on the fan, push the button to start the humidifier, and reach for dad so he can turn on the ceiling fan. Both babies love to see the ceiling fan go around and round. They have a hand signal for it now. I hold him and tell him to put his head down and go to sleep and he puts his head on my shoulder with a hug. Sometimes he turns to me and gives me a wet, open mouth kiss anywhere on my face. I place him in his crib and he lies still as a photo as I tuck him in with a blanket. Usually he looks away from me and stays stiff as a statue. I think he thinks if he doesn’t move or look at me that I will think he’s asleep or something. It’s pretty funny. Of course he is rolling around or standing up by the time I leave the room.
Now, some days they are asleep in a minute or two, sometimes longer, but it’s pretty cute to see in action. They average at least 2 hours of nap time each. When they wake, usually him first, I bring him downstairs and he’s already motioning to me that he wants to go get his sister. When we get to the bottom of the stairs, if she’s awake already, I put him down and he runs to the playpen and tags it like an open field tackle. As he turns the corner to where she is, neither one can contain their excitement to see their twin. It’s pretty funny and it happens almost every single day. I love it. I enjoy it, and I know these moments will be gone all too soon.
Each evening, after dinner, after baseball or hockey, there’s at least a few minutes of family time in the twins play area. At least a little unwind time for them, for all of us. We get their diapers changed and pajamas on and then let them motor around a bit. Then we mention to them its bed time or time for night-nights. Since mom usually puts them to bed at night they know they are going up the stairs with her. This generally turns into a parade of sorts as they race to give dad hugs and kisses on their way out of the room. It is comical to see how excited they are at the prospect of going to bed. They barely spare a second as they give me a kiss or hug, and sometimes I have to chase them for it as they giggle out loud and high step across the kitchen floor. Like many times in life that they will learn all too soon, it’s the journey, not the destination, that is the prize. Right now they get a prize almost every night as they get total attention from mom and dad and their older brother as they make their way along the ‘going to bed’ parade route.