Laughter and tears at bedtime

“Daddy, sing Sleeping Beauty silly!”

Big Sister said from her bed after Daddy finished telling her a story.  Little Sister lay on my lap drinking her bottle.  Daddy complied with Big Sister’s request, making up hilarious words to the tune of “I Know You” from the Disney movie.  Big Sister laughed, a deep genuine laugh that lit her face, and I couldn’t help joining her.  It felt cozy for all four of us to be together for bedtime.

After this afternoon’s drawn out nap fiasco, I determined to give her Little Sister her bottle in her bed, rather than holding her until she fell asleep.  When I put her in her bed, she sobbed.  I said a little prayer for guidance, and tried laying her on her back.  She thrashed and flailed and popped back up to her feet, throwing her arms around my neck.  I put my arms around her and soothed her.  After a few minutes, I said,

“Why don’t you lay down and drink your bottle?”

And she did!  She quieted and curled up in the corner of her bed.  When I moved to help Big Sister get her toy, Little Sister jumped up and wailed again.  I hugged her and spoke gently to her until she stopped crying, then repeated my suggestion that she lay down.  Again, she did!  This cycle of crying and settling played out a number of times, and finally Little Sister stretched out in her bed and stayed still until her breathing slowed and deepened.  Asleep at last.

I snuggled with Big Sister and held her hand until she also drifted off to sleep.

I felt so grateful to have been able to help both babies go to sleep in way that was both gentle to them and freeing for me.  Prayer answered.

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