Bedtime Routine

Every new thing I learned about my Maxie and taking care of him was a complete joy. From burrito wrapping our baby in small blankets to help him sleep, to watching him start to explore his world with his hands, to pureeing his first foods. Everything was new and something we could totally throw ourselves into. Frankly, I never even minded changing his diaper.  Not to say taking care of a newborn was easy from the start.  I had no idea what to do and often called my mom and friends for advice.  It was torture getting up so often to nurse and getting no sleep but then it made me incredibly nervous when he slept too soundly.  These are the normal issues of a new parent.  I knew I loved him deeply and that it was all worth it, but still, it was hard. Of course, just in time for me to return to work, my baby's personality really started to appear.  A happy, funny and social boy.

Spending time with Max was the very best part of my day. I rushed home from work to pick him up from daycare and when I scanned the room for him, I always found him smiling right at happy to see me as I was to see him.  For the last five months, he was usually sitting in a little bumbo seat with a toy in his mouth, looking totally pleased and engaged.  The two hours before Max's bedtime was special mommy and baby time.  We had a routine, as most families do.  I like to think that it was uniquely ours though.  From about 6 weeks old, Max liked me to read to him and would sit in my lap and follow along the books that I read.  His favorites were "Goodnight Moon" and 'Good Night Gorilla".  No surprise there.  What was funny though, is that there were specific baby books that he did not like.  For example he wouldn't sit through anything by Sandra Boynton.  I kept trying every few weeks, just to give myself a break, but he wouldn't give in.  Not his genre I suppose.  So, sometimes we read, sometimes we put on the Pandora "Raffi" station and danced around the living room, him in my arms, my cheek pressed against his.  My lips pressed against his face.  Sometimes, I just let him play in his "office" (exersaucer) or his jumperoo, while I watched and sang along with the various tunes that played when he pushed the giant buttons.  A little after 6, I would bring his bath on to the kitchen counter and fill it up with warm water.  Both Ted and I loved giving Max a bath.  He was very relaxed in the bathtub, very happy to be in the water, and it was so nice to just soap him all up.  On nights when I had to work late, I missed giving him a bath most of all.  After wrapping him up in his towel, I would lie him on his changing table and make sure he was snug and dry and sing "Warm and Cozy....warm and cozy...warm and cozy" to him.  Lots of eye contact and smiles.  There was a period of a couple of weeks where he would talk back: "da-da-da-da-da"...almost a whisper.  I say it to myself now just to remember him and calm myself down. So incredibly sweet: "da-da-da-da-da".  After diaper, I would nurse him or give him a bottle (he sort of weaned himself at 8 longer interested in breast milk "from the source") and then hold his in my arms, his little pajama'd body, and sing to him before putting him in his crib and kissing him goodnight.  Then Ted would come home and we would make and then eat dinner and spend the rest of the night on our couch, watching tv and peeking in on our little angel sleeping on the baby monitor. Throughout the night, I would turn to Ted to tell him, "I miss Maxie".  I missed Max when he slept.

The evenings are silent now.  No white noise coming from Maxie's bedroom.  No baby on the monitor screen.  There is no routine.  We are just trying to keep breathing until the next evening.

1 comment

Jami Bachrad said...

This is such a beautifully written post, and this blog is and will continue to be such a meaningful tribute to Max. Thank you for sharing it. So many heavy hearts are with you and Ted right now.