And now, gentle reader, a virtual bedtime at the house of Druyan.
(This does not include schedule exceptions such as three days of yuntiv (!!), shabbos, Daylight Savings Time changes, teething (yes, teething - Llama got two teeth a couple weeks ago, and was a feverish wreck!), or, I don't know, full moons, etc.)
5:30 PM: A nutritious (snort), well-balanced (snigger), thought-out meal (neh!) is served to two tidy, compliant, table-mannered children. Who eat every bite.
Well, usually there's protein and a starch and cucumbers. Ah, cucumbers, last bastion of vegetable matter that both children will - sometimes - eat. My challenge lately has been what one will consume, the other will not touch.
Like mashed potatoes - Sroch loves 'em, Llama not with a 10 foot pole.
Or hardboiled eggs - ditto.
Or sweet potato - Llama yes, Sroch big fat no.
Lately even corn shnitzel, we've been having Sroch eating Llama's for her (!).
Fortunately, the two of them now equally like bread and butter. So that's a starch and protein and fat right there.
6:00 PM: Sated from their feast (or sedated with igloos), the children happily scurry off to the waiting bathtub, to take off their immaculate clothing and get into the water without a fuss (I can't even type this with a straight face), happily awaiting their favorite part of the bath, getting their hair washed.
I put soap in the water so if all that happens is their tushes sit in soapy water for two minutes, it accomplished SOMETHING. Llama especially hates having her hair washed, despite us doing it exactly the same way for almost two years, night after night. Oh well. She will not linger in the tub almost ever, but she still gets in the tub pretty nicely. Sroch, on the other hand, will drag her feet to avoid getting in, kvetch and moan "you're HURTING meeeee!" vwhen you try to help her take off her shoes and socks (and avoid the sandfall that comes out of them - I wonder if the playground at school has any sand left by the end of the year), and then once Compliant Llama (TM) is in, will protest "but IIIII wanted to go in FIRST!!!", etc, etc. And then later, "but IIIII wanted to get out first!"
Yeah, well, whatever. Wash their hair, rinse their hair, put conditioner in Sroch's, scrub behind four ears if I remember, rinse again - well, except when I forget - and remove squirming bodies to the room. Usually Llama comes out first, leaving Sroch alone in the tub to either frolic or kvetch that SHEEEE wanted to get out FIRST, etc. She actually often climbs out herself by now. So onto...
6:30 PM: Grooming.
We're actually pretty good here. Both girls get their curls brushed out, and then special-combed (bli ayin hara, no unwanted guests have been found - but constant vigilance is our watchword.. um, are our watchwords... oh, whatever.*)
Into pajamas, often after both girls reject the ones we choose for them (who lets them have opinions?). Llama gets the plug of her choice (lately "puhpul tzetzi" is her favorite). And then...
6:45 PM: We quietly read two books to the yawning, calmed, attentive children, who then immediately get into bed without a fuss.
Well, each girl gets to pick a book. Llama will 99% of the time pick one of the Rikki Benenfeld books, of which we have all but the new farm one (and yes, we'll be buying it ASAP). Llama will request them by name - "Doctor! Shooool! School! Vistin! Shoppeeng!" Sroch actually sometimes reads them to her, since she - and we - know them by heart. Srochel, Queen of The Stall, will try to pick the biggest, longest book we have.
We sit in the big blue chair, Llama sharing the cushion with me, Sroch perched on the cushy arm. I manage to turn pages with my arms around the girls (aw). Llama's book is first, and while I read Sroch's she'll often scamper down and look at other books or take toys out of their designated toy boxes, because goodness me there aren't any toys just laying on the floor in disarray. Heaven forfend.
7:00 PM: to bed.
Usually I start by snuggling the Llama, turning off the light, and putting Llama in her cribby, where she has me cover her either with her blankie or with an old head-scarf of mine (kids are weird).
Then I go to Sroch, who is either
1) in bed
2) still in the chair, complaining that I "held Shulamis FIRST! You NEVER hold me first!", or
3) in the bathroom for the last-minute-bladder-emptying-please-God-no-wet-bed-again effort
She then gets into her bed where we have to wrap her blanket around her like a sleeping bag, make her blankie into a ballie for her head (note, I've been making her ballies for about three years now), make sure baby and sippy cup (YES it has like two tablespoons of water in it) are in place - and she's ready for...
Well, we might say shema and sing a bit, but often Sroch is too busy with "I just want to tell/ask you ONE more thing..." (followed by 45 seconds of stammering as she tried to think something up) or whatever. But, finally, and usually with a smile, she lays down to go to sleep.
Or lays down, and comes out five minutes later because "I need to make again." Right.
Llama is usually wonderful about just laying down and even if she doesn't drop off for thirty minutes, she's quiet in her crib. Sroch, though, once she lays down for real, usually lasts about two minutes.
(No, I'm not giving myself an ayin hara by saying Llama usually drifts off nicely, since tonight at bedtime - just like last night between 4 and 5:30 AM - she had a OHMYGOSH TEMPER FIT, thrashing and screaming and making herself choke and no holds barred protest like whoa about going to sleep. Like my baby was possessed by... by... um, by Sarah Rochel at that age. Shoot. Hopefully it's a - very - brief phase! She's probably teething again, although she has 16 teeth already...)
7:15 PM: Oh, shoot, I forgot to brush their teeth.
*But never forget, better wizards than you have lost buttocks, you know.