Bedtime Running Routine

Blogging Lessons 101: When you are trying to pretend to be wise during a blog post, all you must do is begin a sentence with "You see..."  There you have it.  Instant wisdom. 

A few weeks ago, Stafford started a new bedtime routine. It consists of running from one end of the house to the next as I get the other boys settled in bed. Then when it is time for him, he runs and tries to dodge me. This is quite a nuisance and takes more time than it should. It got to the point where I dreaded getting him into bed, but then one night as he rushed into a bedroom and tried to shut the door before I got there, a standard procedure, I slipped my hand in and, just to play along, I started to flop my hand around on his side of the door as though I couldn't find his chubby hands that were pushing with all their might to close the door on my bodiless arm. He thought this was one of the funnier things he had ever seen. He responded with a deep belly laugh with his head thrown back. As you all know, when we laugh our strength dwindles. This is when I took the opportunity to get past the blockade to seize the escapee.
We do a variation of this every night.  Sometimes when he turns to slam the door on me, I slip through before he realizes it and he still slams it and SURPRISE I'm on the same side as he is.  That one really throws him off and he give a scream of terrified excitement. He loves it and as I carry him off to his room, he reaches for his brothers and pleads for their help. Then I spin him around, give him a few tosses in the air and plop him in bed. Though he resists, as soon as I get him into bed, he calms right down and that is the end of our bedtime routine.
So, my point to this long story is not a very big point except that I was tempted to put an end to the running due to the fact that it drags out the night a few more minutes, but when he gave that belly laugh when seeing the bodiless arm searching for him, I decided that it was worth it. You see, now that I have a 10 year old, some things are in better perspective than they were 10 years ago. As I look at my son that is nearing my height, I know that he won't belly laugh when he sees my arm straining through a crack in the door trying to find him. I know that little games like this only last during certain stages in life. I know that one day I will not be the most fun thing to play with and I may even become an annoyance or a bother. So right now as I am the star and since I can bring a belly laugh to my little guy, I 'm going to take three minutes to chase him up and down the long hallway in our townhouse. It is our bedtime routine. It really doesn't take that much longer and I know one day, he will not squeal with excitement when I get close behind him and scratch at his clothes as though I just missed catching him or when I jump out of a dark doorway just as he is about to sprint by. Right now I'm enjoying my two year old and all that goes along with him and if a small chase before his nightly slumbers is what he needs, I'll play along and years from now I'll remember the days when I used to chase Stafford every night before bed. 
For complete disclosure, there are times when I get a laugh out of it too. Sometimes I jump out from an unsuspected hiding place and scare him half to pieces. This, I tell you, is quite funny and we both get a laugh out of it.


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