Babyâ€™s bedtime routine is pretty typical: bath every other night, pjs, possibly a little playtime (depending on how organized we are that night), some cuddle/wind-down time with Mommy and/or Daddy on the couch, then upstairs. If Mommyâ€™s putting to bed that night (Mommyâ€™s and Daddyâ€™s put-down routines differ slightly), we go upstairs, read one or two books, sing songs, and then itâ€™s night-night.
Lately, Iâ€™ve been letting him pick out what books weâ€™re going to read. (Heâ€™s got a veritable library to choose from â€“ thatâ€™s what happens with an English-major-nerd-type of a Mommy and Grandma.) For quite some time it was Dr. Seussâ€™ The Foot Book or a Mother Goose compilation followed by Goodnight Moon. For Christmas, my Aunt Lyn (or, as Baby learned to call her, â€śGate At Leeeâ€ť) gave him On the Night You Were Born and Llama Llama Red Pajama, which quickly became favorites, even ousting Goodnight Moon. (Truthfully, Mommy was a little sad at that, because I love Goodnight Moon.)
But you know what heâ€™s picked, almost exclusively, for the last week (which, letâ€™s face it, in toddler-time is basically a lifetime)? My Shabbat, a soft shapes book by David Brooks. At first I thought Baby just liked it because the shapes come out, so itâ€™s like getting to do a puzzle during bedtime stories. And Iâ€™m sure thatâ€™s one of the reasons he likes it. But Iâ€™ve noticed the last couple of nights that once he gets the removable shape out (or in, depending on whether we started with the pieces in or out of the book), he sits very still as I
stumble read through the blessings (full disclosure here â€“ I use the transliterations; Iâ€™ve not mastered Hebrew in my â€śspareâ€ť time). Now, I know he doesnâ€™t understand yet, and that he probably really is reacting to the rhythmic sounds of the blessings, but I have to admit that I like it (and remember, Iâ€™m the non-Jewish parent). I also like that he now asks for his two night-night songs â€“ the Shâ€™ma (which he calls â€śSam-ahâ€ť) and â€śLa La Luâ€ť (also known as the lullaby from Disneyâ€™s â€śLady and the Trampâ€ť). I hope that these routines are, in some small way, a step toward incorporating more Jewish traditions in his daily life.
What do your childrenâ€™s nighttime routines look like? Do you try to incorporate Jewish prayers/thoughts/traditions into those routines, or at other times of the day?