So the girls have had the same bedtime routine for awhile now. Months and months. After baths (if applicable that evening) and teeth brushing, they each retire to their own rooms in preparation for individual story time. Rich and I and Grammy (if applicable that evening) take turns reading to one of the girls. We rotate about every 10 minutes.
On the nights when there are just two adults, we have had issues with one toddler not wanting to wait in her room alone so that toddler usually ends up sitting in the bed with one of her sisters and I (or Rich or Grammy) will read to two of them together.
Now, when this happens, I always start off by saying, "Anna, if I read to you in Emmy's room, then this is your story time. Okay? I'm not going to read to you again in your room." I always get a response back of, "Okay," but when the time comes, there is (a lot of) fussing until I read to that toddler alone in her room.
And then there was this one night when Emmy ran up to me right before story time was to begin and said, "Mommy, Mommy can you please read to me and Anna in my room tonight." Anna was right behind her waiting for the answer. (Of course, I said yes!) Not only was the way that Em asked absolutely adorable but I couldn't believe that they had planned out something together.
Rich had mentioned getting Toy Story (the movie) for the girls to watch but we could never find it available at the library. Saturday afternoon, I saw that it was going to be on the Disney Channel at 7:00 that evening. Rich and I told the girls that they could watch the movie and we emphasized instead of story time that night. Rich thought that the girls would fall asleep while watching it.
Well, Anna did fall asleep but Emily and Allie had to be escorted up to their rooms at 8:30 after the movie ended. And what do you think I heard when I attempted to tuck them in? Ah, yes. "Read me a story, Mommy."
"But Allie, you watched the movie instead of stories tonight."
"No. Read me a story."
And last night was another transition. We had still been putting up a gate across Anna's and Emily's doorways and then taking them down after they fell asleep. Rich decided to not use the gates at all thinking that this may reduce or possibly eliminate the screaming and crying. We haven't been using a gate on Allie's doorway and she's done really well. She usually climbs right into bed and stays there.
There was no screaming and crying but there was an awful lot of playing going on up there. Pretend trick or treating. Reading to each other in Allie's bed. Em requesting to go to the bathroom for the 57th time. Em eventually fell asleep in her bed.
At 9:30, Allie and Anna were still awake although based on the conversation I overhead, Allie was attempting to go to bed. Anna thought she could sleep on the floor next to Allie's bed. Rich intervened a few minutes later. Anna fell asleep in her bed fairly quickly but Allie still has that cold/allergy thing going on and I heard her coughing on and off until 10:00.
They were all awake and ready to go by 6:15 this morning. I thought Anna was going to fall asleep in her bowl of cereal.
I'll end with some pictures of the girls reading to each other in Emily's bed a few weeks ago. The girls were all playing upstairs while Rich and I moved some furniture in our bedroom.