While bedtime usually goes relatively smoothly in our home, tonight was an exception. I’ll spare you the details. Just envision it as a unsuccessful game of “whack a mole” tonight. (Disclaimer: there is no whacking involved.) When our middle “mole” came out of his room again, he discovered he had a very concerning “scab” on his arm. Expecting bedtime to never end here, I calmly commented how it looked more like dried ketchup, and reminded him that he had ketchup with his dinner. After further inspection and some time in the bathroom, he’s discovered it was just ketchup. I’ve now been thanked and hugged tightly for correctly identifying ketchup. Sometimes it’s the little things one as a parent can expect to be thanked for. I find that our home is full of gratitude, but sometimes as parents we are thanked in unpredicted ways.

I’ve found that it is often at bedtime, where we as parents read to each child alone at their level that we bond the most. Often our youngest son says the sweetest things when we are tucking him in, or when I cuddle with him for a bit. Yes, I realize that it is often a stalling measure on his part. But the head fake is that I’m the one that is stalling. In ten years, he’s not going to want to tell me about who got a time-out in the “blue chair” at preschool, and he may not ask concerning questions to why he and his brother probably won’t live together when they are thirty. I’m sure he will remember that I made the effort to listen and invest in him. And that he is always important to us.

And look… One can sleep through the night once ketchup and other things have been resolved. But only with his baby doll. And don’t give me grief about him sleeping with a doll. He loves kids, and may make a great dad someday.


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