July 3, 2007

The Bedtime Dance

Last night, Beth went out to dinner with a friend. My job? Hang with The Bean and perform the bedtime ritual. There are many steps to this dance.

1. Dinner. Mia will eat but you must choose the right thing in the right color bowl with the right color fork and the correct beverage (and correct color cup with matching or complimentary-colored straw). You would be wise to choose noodles and cheese, pizza, or shredded cheddar cheese strewn around the table. Should you deviate from these three selections, you're on your own. Side dishes of grapes or raisins may augment the meal. Do not - and I implore you, the result won't be pretty - try to pass vegetables off as dinner.

2. Play. Immediately following dinner, you are invited to play any game you like so long as the selection is made by Mia. Popular games of late include Double Hiding (in which both players hide without having a designated finder...this game takes a while), Tower (predictably, this involves building tall towers of anything handy and watching them fall to the ground), Mommy's Shoes (wearing, walking, and falling in Beth's shoes, preferably heels) and Circles (running around in, you guessed it, circles, but strangely only in a counter-clockwise direction).

3. Diaper Time. This is self-explanatory yet it is nowhere near as simple as it may appear on the surface. This is largely due to the fact that every one of Mia's friends - her stuffed animals - apparently want their diapers changed too. Elmo, Pooh, Little Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Dog, Baby Payton (a bear that Mia has named after her new cousin) and Monkey are all sporting Huggies' finest.

4. Stories. Mia, having picked approximately 295 books, wants to be read to. Or, wants to read to you. Favorite still are the Biscuit books. Biscuit and his creator may well be Satan in human and fictional character form. But Mia likes them so yay Beelzebub.

Last night, in Beth's absence, we read a little Rolling Stone then kicked back for some righteous story action. It was a good night. You know, if we all took a little more time to run around - counter-clockwise or just plain old clockwise - and play and read, maybe we'd all be a little more relaxed and not quite as wrapped around life's axle, around the details, the things that really don't matter all that much.

Posted by Chris at July 3, 2007 7:18 AM


It sounds (and looks) as if a good time was had by all.

Good job. And I hope Beth had a nice dinner out.


Posted by: cassie-b at July 3, 2007 7:57 AM

I love that last picture.

Posted by: suze at July 3, 2007 7:58 AM

How do you always get great pictures when you're not even behind the camera?

Posted by: alektra at July 3, 2007 8:32 AM

First, Mia is gorgeous!

Second, your picture quality is amazing. I'm sure you mention it somewhere on your blog, but what kind of camera do you use?

I agree with you on how to be more relaxed. Summer is the best!

And finally, DOUBLE HIDING is genius! I will be playing that a lot with my children, I'm sure! Thanks so much for sharing that!

Posted by: August at July 3, 2007 8:33 AM

awww, the first picture of her is so adorable. i go to school at nite and my hubby is with my daughter those nites and I get a kick out of the two of them together. but you are so right about the cup, bowl, straw stuff. everything has to be the right color, size and the cup and its lid have to be selected just right otherwise there's big trouble around here. a few days ago i made her chocolate milk in a Cinderella cup. it was promptly returned to me with a message of 'Mommy, i want Ariel cup, how many times do I gotta tell you'. was pretty funny, but still.....grrrrr

Posted by: MadMom at July 3, 2007 8:49 AM

For some reason, bedtime stories remind me of the Calvin and Hobbes episode when he wanted his dad to read the story called "Hamster Huey and Gooey Kablooey".

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at July 3, 2007 8:53 AM

Yes, I will be doing the running around dance all day today getting ready for 14 tomorrow. Wanna come?
PS:Please pray for fair weather/no rain. I have 14 coming here for a barbecue and I seriously want everyone outside!

Posted by: Maribeth at July 3, 2007 9:01 AM

So glad to read that everything went so well last night -- that last picture is just heart meltingly good.

Posted by: Laura GF at July 3, 2007 9:38 AM

Mia certainly does take her Rolling Stone quite seriously... she's adorable.

Posted by: Stephanie at July 3, 2007 9:43 AM

That last photo is so dang cute.

Posted by: GreenCanary at July 3, 2007 10:23 AM

Amen, brother. That last picture is gold, ponyboy.

God, I hate Elmo. Such a smug little bastard and the fact that he's still wearing a diaper just floors me. Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, though? They're like, what, ~90 years old? That's diaper-worthy, I supppose. As for the counterclockwise thing, are you sure she's not Australian?

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at July 3, 2007 11:09 AM

holy cute third picture batman!

this is why i want a girl. my boy's not exactly a cuddler.

Posted by: b. at July 3, 2007 11:28 AM

Your take on the entire routine is absolutely hilarious and so damn true! At least you're to the point where you've got it all mostly figured out... until she changes her mind again. LOL Then, it's back to the drawing board.

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: ironic1 at July 3, 2007 11:36 AM

I was really hoping for a picture of you falling down in Beth's heels.

Posted by: Elaine at July 3, 2007 12:55 PM

That is so awesome! I think you are starting to truly understand the meaning of life...

Posted by: Kari at July 3, 2007 1:29 PM

Oh, man. Those pictures are so cute I don't know what to do. Babies "reading" is one of my weaknesses.

Posted by: Fraulein N at July 3, 2007 2:36 PM

Great photos!

Posted by: whit at July 3, 2007 5:36 PM

That last picture? So. Freaking. Adorable.

Posted by: Allison at July 3, 2007 6:26 PM

I'm with Elaine -- the pictures of you playing "mommy's shoes" would have been priceless!

Sooooo..... who fell asleep first while you were reading to Mia?

Posted by: coolchick at July 3, 2007 9:15 PM

Oh my cuteness - Mia is so adorable. I love it when they get fixated on stories.

Posted by: Jenny at July 3, 2007 10:39 PM

I love nights alone with Clare too; we call it Clare and Daddy time. It usually invovles a later bedtime too.

Posted by: Darren at July 3, 2007 10:43 PM

I'm certainly up for some playing and reading, which is good since I get to hang out with my cutie-pie little niece tomorrow. Instead of ending the day all relaxed though, I'll probably so tired that I can barely move. Why is it that such little tiny people can do so very much?

Posted by: angela at July 3, 2007 11:59 PM

Sounds like you had a GREAT evening! You're a great dad!

Posted by: Nadine at July 4, 2007 7:09 AM

Dang. You guys must spend a lot of money on diapers.

Posted by: Amy at July 4, 2007 10:10 AM

I love snuggly bedtime story time!


And, be honest, did you straighten up the bedroom before taking that picture? Hmmm?

Posted by: samantha Jo Campen at July 4, 2007 6:15 PM

I love snuggly bedtime story time!


And, be honest, did you straighten up the bedroom before taking that picture? Hmmm?

Posted by: samantha Jo Campen at July 4, 2007 6:15 PM

declan has an intricate bedtime routine that controls our loves too. Its a riot. Love the pigs.

Posted by: aimee greeblemonkey at July 5, 2007 1:15 AM

This is just sweetness...I love reading little stories like this...My husband has always been good at spending quality time with his children.

Posted by: Marsha at July 7, 2007 12:13 PM

At the risk of sounding my age I will say, that your daughter is so cute. Makes me wanna have kids.

Posted by: Roshan at July 8, 2007 4:23 PM