fathering mothering PARENTING

Pomegranates and Really Bad Bedtime Routines

My one piece of advice to parents? Get your kids into a good bedtime routine.

Just don’t ask me how to do it.

If the books are to be believed, I think there’s something about “consistency” and “same time each night”, two areas on the life report card that leave me hovering right around a C-.

Our motto for parenting is “do what works, until it doesn’t, then do what works.” And that’s true of the bedtime routine, too. We’ve done what works, which has sometimes included a swing, a crib, a crib mattress on the floor, a queen-sized mattress on the floor, a night light in the wall, co-sleeping, sleeping alone, a bath, a song, and always, of course, a book.

It has also included parent tears and children tears, vomit, tantrums that end in dirty diapers, and, well, you get the point.

I’m going to be honest, I work under the assumption that we are the only parents that have this problem. But I remind myself that, at least as far as I know, most kids don’t co-sleep when they’re in High School.

salad recipes

On the topic of things we’re trying to do better, my husband and I are working, or rather, eating our way through cookbook of salads. (Is it still called a cookbook if you don’t cook?) I bring it up not as a humble brag, but to both give the book a shout out, and to explain why a pomegranate was sitting opened, a fourth of its seeds taken out, on our kitchen counter.

My husband had commented that he didn’t think he was going to finish the pomegranate and, because we do have a tendency to get distracted and let fruit go bad, asked if we should keep it or throw it away. Playing my role in what has become a familiar scene, I insisted I would finish peeling it, or whatever it is that you call removing the fruit from a pomegranate. Shucking?

pom skin

I did end up peel-shucking that pomegranate, mostly because I enjoy any kitchen task that gives me an excuse to watch Gilmore Girls and still feel productive. As I watched Rory have her heart broken by Jess for the hundredth time, I pulled the skin away from the pomegranate seeds. And I realized for third time (since we don’t really eat that many pomegranates in our home) how beautiful those perfect red beads are, like jewels hidden inside their rhinoceros-skin exteriors.

pom seeds

So last night, while I was rocking my baby boy to sleep, or rather, rocking him, since there was no sleep going on, I looked down at his beautiful, perfect face and his tiny, George W. Bush ears, his long eye-lashes, and his dimple, and kissed his forehead.

“Sing, Mama?” he asked.

I sang. And then, we sang. First, “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” and then “Give Yourself to Love”, and “Jesus Loves Me”.  And I listened as my two year old started, for the first time, to sing along with every word to the songs that I have sung him each night. He grinned as his tiny, high-pitched voice matched mine, recognizing my delight in his newly revealed ability.

And it was like peeling away the ugly rhinoceros skin of our lack of bedtime routine, and seeing the little gem of it stuck inside, just waiting for me to find it.

I imagine we’ll keep tweaking our bedtime routine, continuing to make it work. But even when it doesn’t, I guess it’s not always so bad after all.

261755_10150290602379874_2436766_nRachel

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Robin Cozette
    January 15, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Our co-sleeping (which I lovingly referred to as the Crucifixion position — akin to downward dog in yoga), ended around 1st grade but started way earlier around 4, with Jamie, the oldest. Once she became more independent, Julie followed right along and this she was no longer wanting me to sleep next to her, even part of the night, because she and Jamie shared a room and sometimes the same bed when Jamie didn’t want to be “all” alone at night.

    Older siblings do that. They take on co-parenting roles whether that is developmentally healthy or not for them. I. Our family it was the lesser of two evils given that I was still working full-time and turning 40. ?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Reply
      Rachel
      January 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      It sounds like the best option would be to have another kid to help with the co-sleeping? 😉 Thank you for helping me feel not so alone.

  • Reply
    Robin Cozette
    January 15, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Our co-sleeping (which I lovingly referred to as the Crucifixion position — akin to downward dog in yoga), ended around 1st grade but started way earlier around 4, with Jamie, the oldest. Once she became more independent, Julie followed right along and this she was no longer wanting me to sleep next to her, even part of the night, because she and Jamie shared a room and sometimes the same bed when Jamie didn’t want to be “all” alone at night.

    Older siblings do that. They take on co-parenting roles whether that is developmentally healthy or not for them. I. Our family it was the lesser of two evils given that I was still working full-time and turning 40. ?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Reply
      Rachel
      January 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      It sounds like the best option would be to have another kid to help with the co-sleeping? 😉 Thank you for helping me feel not so alone.

  • Reply
    myrealtrustedfriend
    January 15, 2016 at 4:34 am

    My 17 month old daughter loves pomegranate, very good snack I’ve been told

    • Reply
      Rachel
      January 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      I tried to convince my kiddo to eat them, but he wasn’t very interested. 🙂

  • Reply
    myrealtrustedfriend
    January 15, 2016 at 4:34 am

    My 17 month old daughter loves pomegranate, very good snack I’ve been told

    • Reply
      Rachel
      January 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      I tried to convince my kiddo to eat them, but he wasn’t very interested. 🙂

  • Reply
    lenoraland
    January 15, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Beautiful. And, yeah, I think you’ve got it, whether you realize it or not. The “sleeping routine” is you just love em. And do the best you can. Though singing to them and reading to them was also kind of key for us. And strangely enough, both our girls love music and reading. Hmmm. Oh and Gilmore Girls.

  • Reply
    lenoraland
    January 15, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Beautiful. And, yeah, I think you’ve got it, whether you realize it or not. The “sleeping routine” is you just love em. And do the best you can. Though singing to them and reading to them was also kind of key for us. And strangely enough, both our girls love music and reading. Hmmm. Oh and Gilmore Girls.

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