Our toddler’s bedtime routine has seen plenty of change since my husband’s staying home from work and also, due to his ill-health. So, there are nights when she might just go to bed in her play clothes or not say “Goodnight” to all her toys because it’s way past bedtime. However, the one thing that I’ve ensured that doesn’t change is Story Time. It stays. Story time is special and sacred for both of us.
Stories are a simple way for her to unwind and enjoy the predictability of bedtime while for me, it is a chance to create memories for her, revisit childhood favorites, use my imagination to think up newer stories and for a moment, forget about being an adult.
Even if I don’t tell her a story, I make it a point to read her one. It may be short, but it is there. Always. Each night. No matter how tired I may feel or how irritable she may be, the words, “Once upon a time…” have a magical effect on her and me. She calms down, snuggles into the crook of my arm and listens. Every now and then, she’ll add in a word or two especially if the tale is an old favorite, giggling when she hears something funny. ***smiling***
More often than not, she dozes off while listening to the story but even if she doesn’t, she’s happier, relaxed and more willing to sleep than earlier.
On nights, when bedtime is more according to her regular schedule, I tell her two stories – one in English and the other in Hindi (our native tongue). I want her to learn both languages and absorb both the cultures. So, it makes sense to tell stories from both.
The stories are simple and uncomplicated. Usually, they involve her, daily or upcoming events, her favorite toys, her friends and us. Sometimes, the tales are more culture-based with morals and teachings.
Story time is our special time together. The snuggling, giggling and dozing off to sleep together is what ends our busy day. It is a happy ending!
What about you? Are bedtime stories a part of your toddler’s bedtime ritual? How do you make them special? Do share!
Photo Credit: Abigail Batchelder
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