Usually we have a very strict bedtime routine in our house. Having had the unhappy experience of a child who does not fall asleep and cried for hours through over-tiredness, we have recognised the importance of sticking to the same routine and have done so since Meg was about 4 weeks old. Of course, there are times when this has to adapt and change but generally we try and keep it the same.
Sometimes though, it's nice to just throw out the rule book, isn't it?
Meg and Eli absolutely adore it when their Daddy plays rough with them; whether this is wrestling or being flung in the air or just a big old pile up...there is something different about the way their Daddy plays which just fills them up with excitement and joy. I've never quite been able to match it and just have to accept that I'm the person they will turn to when they want to make a pretty picture, and their Daddy is the person they will turn to when they want to play a slightly more active game.
Last week was no different. They had been in the bath and were just in the process of choosing a bedtime story when suddenly they were grabbed and flung onto the bed and tickled, tickled and tickled some more.
The logical part of me thought it was going to be a disaster for getting them calmed down ready for sleep; as I listened to the high pitched shrieks and laughter my heart began to sink. But when I walked into the room and saw the sheer delight written across their faces, I just melted. It was such an ordinary thing, being tickled by their Daddy, and yet there was something completely magical about the moment too.
If I could capture the elation on their faces and bottle it up, I think it would get me through even the most stressful day. Such beautiful joy and innocence.
I think we might have to abandon the rules more often.