Friday, July 31, 2009

Evening Ritual

I am the father of seven children.

At one point in each and every day, I tend to tell the children to go to bed, then tuck them in and the house gets really quiet.

It's nice.

Now, I should mention that technically, I only do this for four of my children. The oldest two, are beyond Daddy tucking them in, and are responsible for their own bed times. I still wake them up though, so it's not all paradise. Okay, I really only have to wake them up on an occasional Sunday morning, after I have dragged my tired butt out of bed. Happy?

That being said, the remaining four do have certain rituals that we go through. Maggie and Katie share a room, so they both HAVE to go to bed at the same time, otherwise the other will get mad and start whining, etc. In September, you can bet that Katie will remind me of my "you're not ten yet" rule, as she turns ten then. Anyway, we get them into bed and either Jenni or myself will lead them through our evening prayers. Then they get thirsty, or have to go to the bathroom, or have a headache, or can't find a stuffed animal, etc.

Good times.

Jessica is easy, and unfortunately, the one I tend to "forget." Actually, it's more like I am preoccupied by the evil computer, or some television show. Either way, she will patiently await my arrival downstairs to wish her a good night. With a kiss, a few good nights, a few I love you's, and a few sleep goods. Almost like clockwork, she will be off to the bathroom within half an hour. I usually don't notice, since I am upstairs while she is down, and there is a bathroom down there.

So sweet.

Which leads me to Danny. To give you an example of our routine, I present the following:

Me: Okay buddy, time for bed.
Danny: Dad, dad, dad, where's my fuzzy blanket?
M: I don't know.
D: I need it!
M: Okay, let me see if I can find it.

(three minutes later)

M: Here's your blanket.
D: Not that one. This one.
M: You had it the whole time?
D: No, what?
M: Okay, let's pray. In the name of the...
D: Dad wait! Where's Buzz?
M: Wha? Oh, he's right here and here (pointing to pictures on the wall)
D: Why isn't he here, Dad?
M: Those are just planets and space ships buddy.
D: Okay, kiss.
M: In the name of the...
D: Wait!
M: now what Danny?
D: There's Thomas and James and Percy, lots of them
M: Yes Danny, there are, it's your border.
D: Oh. Thomas James and Percy. Kiss now.
M: In the name of...
D: WAIT! I Start it.
M: Okay, go.
D: In the name of the Father

We do the following with Danny:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
May angels watch me through the night,
And keep me in their blesssed sight.

After that, he's pretty much ready to go to sleep. One more kiss, and I am free!

Now don't go thinking that I am complaining, because I'm not. I mean before I know it, none of them will "need" me to tuck them in and give them a kiss goodnight - then I'll start complaining.

Good night and God Bless!