Babies, being very small and generally well-protected from the frazzle of adulthood, probably have a rather difficult time appreciating the effort that goes into something as ordinary as bedtime. The elaborate ritual of it all, the complex song & dance sleep requires, not to mention the accumulated toll on the caregiver(s) - it's not something babies seem to be taking notes on.
As a new mother myself, with a tiny person to coax to sleep at night, I'm suddenly wide awake to the time and devotion it takes - has always taken - to get young babes to sleep. With that awakening, I've come to appreciate my own successful childhood bedtimes all the more. So, to kick off a new sleepy September week and with full on (#)gratitude for my parents dutifully tucking me in at night, I present you with the inimitable Kate Galletly (my mom), reflecting on all those years of bedtime stories and dunks in the tub.
PS: Lydia cries every time she reads it, so there's your warning.
Some of my most savored memories are centered around our evening routine when we lived in Manhasset. I worked in New York for a Chicago-based bank, which presented logistical challenges, so LIRR and work schedules permitting, I would arrive home around 6:30, kick off my heels, and corral Barbara and Patrice for bath time.
Padding into the bathroom in stocking feet I would start the bath - Mr Bubble and Johnson’s shampoo at the ready. Then sitting on the cool tile floor we would dive into stories - the tub people being sucked down the drain, Corduroy searching for his button, finding the mouse in Goodnight Moon, Harold drawing with his crayon…
The demands of the day ceased to exist as we toured the chocolate factory, extricated Pooh’s head from the honey pot and escaped from the dastardly Snowbell with Stewart Little. Roald Dahl, E.B. White and A.A. Milne shared our space, with queries about what I had missed that day during shampoos. Gradually we moved on to chapter books.
Then toweling off, feetie pajamas, thanking God for our family, tucking my sweeties into their beds. At last deep breathing, tip toeing out the door. Shed the suit, tackle the household chores. Their bed time, my oasis in the maelstrom of daily living.
- The one and only Kate Galletly