Ethan goes to sleep at night very well. We have a bedtime ritual that we do after washing hands, brushing teeth, and reading stories. I always ask him if he can say “Mommy, and Daddy, and Ethan, and Buo”, giving him lots of kisses and tickles on “Buo” (pronounced boo, short for buoy).
Next, Ethan asks me to let him hold various objects around the room. On a wall shelf he has a windmill music box, a bear-in-a-hammock music box, his infant knit cap, his baby hair brush, a Precious Moments figure of a boy with his bun, and a little Peter Rabbit book. On the window sill, he has the music box from his baby mobile. On his dresser, he has a lion-holding-a-lamb music box that plays, “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. Ethan asks for three, four, or sometimes more of these items. For any music boxes he selects, I wind them up, except the bear (his favorite), which he can wind himself. It doesn’t bother him at all to have two, three, or four music boxes playing at once.
Ethan also asks to look out the window, so I’ll lift him out for a moment to gaze with me on the dark (or not so dark, depending on the snow, clouds, and moonlight) backyard and river valley. He usually points out the window and makes the “tweet, tweet” sound he uses to imitate a bird. I remind him that there are no birds out, that they are all in their nests sleeping. I don’t know why he makes the bird sound, but it provides a nice segue back into the crib.
Last, Ethan asks for his blankets, and Beth or I put them on him. He usually goes right to sleep without any crying. Sometimes, he wants to overextend the ritual, so he starts crying after I leave the room, but fortunately, after a few seconds he puts his head down and begins to doze off. Today was one of those brief moments of dissatisfaction, only instead of just making a crying sound, he cried out “Daddy”. So sad and cute at the same time—good thing it was only for a few seconds.