Tickle Me...


Thank Gawd It's Thursday!!  Hello, 3-Day Weekend!!  I have big plans to finish some photo work, post proofs and place orders, to clean out my closet and dresser drawers (at least), to get some knitting done, and to watch a Netflix movie that I've had for way too long!

Katie & Maddy watched a rented movie last night and then, for some reason, put a tape marked "KIDS 3" into the VCR and their laughter lured me into the room.  I had some major pangs when I realized that some of the original "Kids 3" had been taped over with "newer" stuff, ca. Christmas 1991 -- Maddy's first Christmas!  *Sigh*  It's all priceless.  Katie was 6, Ali 4.  It was the year that the girls' doll house disappeared around Thanksgiving and was spiffed up, redecorated and returned under the tree by Santa's Elves.  It was also the year that Ali received the much-longed-for "Baby Alive" doll, eliciting a "YOU BETTER SHARE THAT, ALI!" response from Katie.  So funny.  That doll was never given any other name, she was always just called "Baby Alive."

We had a series of board books by Helen Oxenbury of which one, I Can, became part of a long-standing bedtime ritual at our house (which eventually grew to include story time and tickle time -- it's a wonder those kids ever went to sleep!).  One of these was also on the tape, filmed by me, narrated by DH -- in which he remarks that we've only done it about 300 times already, but okay if you really want to do it again... the girls' excitement is palpable!  They spread their blankies on the floor, making a sort of home base, and then they'd "do" each of the "I Can" things, returning "home" after each one... I can sit, I can jump, I can crawl, I can fall, etc.  Eventually, the girls demanded more "I Can" things than were in the book and we had to append a few of our own making.  One favorite was growing from seed to a fruit-bearing tree in about 20 seconds.  The signature move, however, compliments of DH, was the dieing cockroach -- the girls would lie down on their backs and wave their arms and legs around.

I haven't laughed that hard in a while.

Tell me your favorite bedtime ritual -- funny or not -- something you do with your kids, something you remember from your own childhood, something you do now!!  And let's MAKE IT A CONTEST, because I've been wanting to -- I haven't had one of those in many, many moons.  I'm not sure what the prize will be... it'll be something good.  To enter, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST, telling me your FAVORITE BEDTIME RITUAL, by MIDNIGHT (CST) on SUNDAY, JULY 12th; winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday.

Wild bellflower Wild bellflower Wild bellflower

I had noticed that my favorite weed wildflower, a lovely bellflower, was beginning to bloom outside my studio window -- last night, the irresistible light drew me outside.  Gorgeous!

New hydrangea

One of my small hydrangeas in front is absolutely LOADED with flowers, and they are also beginning to bloom!



Favorite bedtime ritual as a kid- sharing a room with my older brother, laughing and being silly late enough to hear "Heeerree' s Johnny!" and the Tonight Show theme music, and having my dad yell "Quit your jabberwocking!" at us.

Now- the only ritual around here is when I tuck in my twins, and I say "night night, sleep tight, don't let the-" and the girls finish it off in a silly way. They also tell me they love me till the last cookie, till I'm dead, or till the last number. They're pretty cute, those two.

We've never gotten into the bedtime story habit here- not sure why, but it might be because the kids like to fall asleep with music playing to settle them down.


My favorite bedtime ritual was one I had with my dad. I'd pretend to fall asleep on the couch when it was bedtime so he'd have to carry me to bed. But, he'd get to the doorway of my room and say "oh no! if I turn on the light, i'll have to drop Katie!" and my little arm would reach over and turn on the light. another part of our family bedtime was saying I love you and giving kisses. Even to stinky brothers that you didnt' love all day long. :)


After story time was over and the kids were actually in their beds, I (or Smokey, depending on who was putting them to bed) would give each one a kiss and a hug and say "kiss and a hug" as I did. The kids eventually added, "...and a bip and a gug"" to the ritual. A bip was a nose rub, but I don't remember what a gug was. Must ask the boys...

Geek Knitter

My bedtime rituals ran heavy towards monsters, so there were nightly checks through the bedroom to make sure they'd all vamoosed.

To this day I hang my head over the edge of the bed to check underneath it... which can make camping a wee bit tricky. :)


Growing up we did hugs and kisses before bed but tried to extend it as far as possible demanding Eskimo and butterfly kisses and I think we would even make some up to make it last even longer to procrastinate actually sleeping.

When we eventually grew out of that my ritual became hiding under the covers with a flashlight and reading until caught or I fell asleep (I went through a ton of batteries).

Now my favorite ritual is that my 18 month old daughter actually goes down without crying and even says "dove oo" as we leave the room.


A small Winnie the Pooh bean bag toy always had to kiss Kathryn's eyes for good dreams, ears for good sounds, lips for good words and heart for a good soul. As she got a little bit older, other body parts started creeping in until we had to go back to the original ones. It wasn't so much a time thing as it was a knowledge thing. Neither of us knew exactly where the spleen was or what exactly it did! Pooh still sleeps with her and travels with her wherever she sleeps!


When we were younger my little brother and I would say out loud to our grandparents "Good night, God bless you, I'll see you in the morning."
My current personal ritual is to pray a rosary before nodding off to sleep:~D


My favorite bedtime ritual isn't my own, it's the one my husband and 7 year old son share. Every night (provided hubby is home from work in time), they have this long list of things they have to do involving Hubby rolling over John in various ways. There's the steamroller (rolling over him from feet to head and back), the tidal wave (jumping on him and then rolling side to side), the undertow (laying on top of him and holding onto him while rolling from side to side), the riptide (standing at the foot of the bed and yanking him down by his ankles until he's almost off the bed), and then there's CPR (John lays on his stomach and dad bounces him up and down while doing mock CPR). There are also run-ins with octopuses, sharks, crabs, sand in the hair, etc. The whole thing just cracks John up and he usually ends up laughing so hard he wets his pants.


Oh, the rituals varied over the years... from baths and stories and massages and songs to just reading and falling asleep in the kid's bed to having him read to me.

He's now 13, going on 38. So now it's more like GO TO BED! DID YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH??? TURN OUT THAT LIGHT.

When he was younger he called that bellflower the pineapple flower, for the way the fruits look when it's done flowering.


When I was little it was a book called "Daddy makes the best spaghetti". When I was very little, my mom worked second shift and my dad worked during the day, so he would be the one who would make my dinner and read to me in the morning on the bus to work (we lived in the suburbs, and my parents worked in the city, it was easier to avoid parking). But dad read me this book that was all about a father going to the store, and making spaghetti for dinner and the bath monster and the silly things that parents do with their kids. I read that book so much the cover fell off - but I still have it. A close second that can't be forgotten is "A visit from dr. katz" which is about a little girl who is sick and has two cats visit her to make her feel better. My mom sent me a new copy when I broke my foot a couple hundred miles from the family and was stuck in bed for a few days.


My bedtime ritual is to make myself (and my SO) a nice cup of tea, and curl up in the bed and read for at least 30 minutes before letting the dogs out for the last time and then getting down to the serious business of sleeping!


My favorite routine? Putting all the dogs in their crates! It's the quiet after the storm since I usually have 8-10 dogs at any given time (4 are mine and the rest are fosters).

christina wall

When I was a kid my mom would put us to bed and then go down and play the piano. I always loved falling asleep to the soft melodies floating up the stairs.

Now, I love to crawl with my knitting and listen to my husband read to me.


Bed time rituals are a major part of my day seeing as I have 4 children ages 12 to 3. The young ones love Cinderella. I can't count the number of times they've heard it. My three year old has actually memorized most of the sentences, and recites them along with me. I still find that my two oldest (boys) still need a tuck in and kiss goodnight. What big sucks boys are!


When Hannah was little we read Goodnight Moon every night. It's still a favorite and she and I can pretty much recite it word-for-word without the book.
When Dale's son Luke was younger they had a ritual where Dale would knock on the wall 2 times and then Luke would knock back. It was a symbol that Dale loved him twice as much because his mom had left when he was only 5. I always thought it was really sweet.


A long weekend awaits me, too. My night time ritual is to take a pill so I can sleep soundly and then watch 5 minutes of tv. I wish I had something a little more romantic. ;-)


My favorite bedtime ritual is from when I was a kid, when my dad would do math problems with me instead of bedtime stories. (When I finally got to algebra class and learned that they were called "systems of equations", I was amazed at how much easier they were when I got to write them down...)

Melissa V.O.

In the Summertime, when I take the children back to my childhood home in Michigan there is a swing in the backyard. It's one of those bench-type patio swings, but it's hung on long chains from a tall swing set and you can get that thing going rather high. There is still a swing out there, not the original one that my dad used to push me and my sisters on in the late, dark summer nights, but that hardly matters when I take my own children out there at nearly 11pm to sit and swing as high as it will possibly let us without flipping over, watching for fireflies and bats because it's just like how it was all those years ago.


These days it revolves around 2 minutes with the electric toothbrush, and 15 minutes of downtime reading - lately Barbara Walker's feminist spirituality books in advance of seeing her at Sock Summit!

It's always been least 15 minutes before bed. With Siamese tucked in close.

I LIKE your new "look"


Bedtime rituals at our home include getting everyone a cold glass of water for her night stand (I have three daughters). Then everyone reads quietly. My youngest daughter always falls asleep next to me and then later, when my husband comes to bed he carries her to her own room. One of my kitties sleeps curled up on top of the blankets next to my legs so I'm always careful not to disturb her. Not very exciting, but we enjoy our quiet time.


WE give the kids a goodnight kiss from everyone in the house.. including the current entourage of pets!


My grandfather died a few years before I was born (he was quite a bit older than my grandmother), and my grandma loved telling me stories about him (he was a dentist, and she knew plenty of scary dentist stories). She had a very scratchy blanket of his that he had used while living in Africa for a couple of years in the 30s. The blanket had a significantly large stain on it, and my grandmother told me that this came from the blood of a tiger my grandfather had killed. Once she told me this much, our evening ritual included the tale of grandpa Kurt fighting a tiger that had attacked him while he was camping in the desert! Over several years, my grandma added more and more detail to the story; it was a great grandpa-the-superhero story. Only when I was a teenager did my dad tell me that my grandfather never fought a tiger, let alone kill one with his bare hands... The stain--well, who knows, maybe my grandfather spilled a pot of tea. :)


My current bedtime ritual is fairly dull - brush teeth, brush hair, evict the cat from my side of the bed, read for a few minutes, and then sleep. When I was around 10, I remember finding the Wolfman Jack show on the radio one night when I was allowed to stay up late. After that, I would pull the clock radio into bed with me under the covers and listen to Wolfman while I read a book with a flashlight. I can't remember what was so special about that show, but I do remember loving it.


great question! very unique! Well, as i get older i am finding a major bedtime ritual is full of my natural creams and potions! from head to toe literally, lol. Then i have to find the kitty, give her a lift into the room after we peek in to say goodnight to my daughter. Hubby if he is not traveling will join us as well. I do find i have to read for at least ten minutes before sleep will allow my brain to shut down. (thank goodness for mini book lights!)


I had to think long and hard about this. I think my favorite bedtime rituals happened when my kids were both small and we used to read the same book (goodnight farm) every night. They would always ask for another...and another...and I kept on reading their books to them because I knew that at some point they wouldn't need me for that anymore.


One of my favorite when I was a kid was when my dad would pick me up and we'd say "Night night" to just about every living creature I could think of. "Night night doggies. Night night kitties. Night night grasshoppers. Night night birdies..." and so on. Then he'd put me in bed and push the mattress down and make it spring up again so I bounced, a process called "Nice bed!" I would giggle and giggle! And finally dad would bring out his harmonica and play old German lullabies that he learned on his mission. No jazz, just old songs. It still brings nostalgic tears to my eyes.


I didn't have much of a bedtime routine as a child, but my kids have a great one. Milk in the kitchen, brush teeth, then snuggle in bed with one of us to read a few story books. It's a lovely, cuddly time of day for them and us.


As a child my favorite bedtime routine was when my dad picked me up and flung me over his shoulders and called me a sack of potatoes. He would carry me up the stairs and flop me into be while I laughed myself silly. My youngest is now 10 but when all three of mine were younger it would be PJ's, teeth and read a couple of books on the couch and up to bed. I miss those days.


When I was little my dad used to come in and sing us to sleep. Whenever he sang "Shine on Harvest Moon" he had to do it twice, once with the original lyrics "for me and my gal" and once for my brother who would always say "for me and guy, dad, for me and my guy!"


We loved reading Good Night, Moon, and it is still one of my favorite children's stories... then, mama (me) would always say 'pleasant dreams' right as the lights went out.


Really? Bellflower is a weed where you are? I just bought one from Home Depot this spring and it was $6.00! Hilarious!

My standard bedtime ritual is to make sure all the dogs & cats are tucked up safe in their beds, brush my teeth, crawl into bed, put lavender cream on my feet and hands, and then read a chapter of whatever book is currently on the nightstand. Same thing, every night. ;)

Karen S

My favorite bed-time ritual varies between two.
1) to do the brushing of teeth and so on at the same time with DH and talking quietly about the day and holding each other tight and such.
2) the more solitary. Sitting with a good book on the loo.... this unfortunately almost always makes me come to bed a lot later than anticipated... but I love those solitary moments ;)

Kari W.

When my boys were little they would get themselves settled on each side of me and we would set a timer and I would read to them for an hour. When they were very young very often they would fall asleep before the time was up, but as they got older they hung on to the end and I would be the one trying hard to stay awake. And now I fall asleep listening to audio books. I always put in an old favorite so it doesn't matter that I don't hear it all before falling asleep.


My favourite bedtime ritual for a long time was when my dad would read to my brother and me. It continued for quite a while after I was perfectly capable of reading on my own.

Andrea (noricum)

After my parents got divorced, I would tuck my mom in at night. I'd pull the covers up to her chin, give her a hug, and tell her I love her. I continued that even after she found someone new, and would tuck in my stepdad too. :)

Yvonne in southwest Virginia

The one thing I consistently do every night before turning off the lamp and every morning after turning off the alarm clock is to look at my dh's framed picture and tell him *Good night/morning, Sweetheart. It's the end of another day/the beginning of a new day...and I'm still loving you.*

I became his widow in 1985 at the age of 33.


After the kids had been bathed and in their jammies we would all snuggle up on the couch together to read bedtime stories. Each child chose a story I had four children and there was 10 years difference between the oldest and the youngest so they ranged from the same picture book over and over to chapter stories where we would read one chapter at a time. This would often take up to an hour before all the stories were read. Eventually I only had the youngest to read to and we would snuggle up in his bed and read (even though he was fully proficient in reading), sometimes we would share the task...he would read to me...which was always still took an hour to read those stories. Ah memories makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Thanks for reminding me.--Nicki


My favorite bedtime ritual involves my daughter and keeps changing as she ages and tweaks her preferences. When she was two, my husband and I would sing songs to her each night. The repertoire was different each day, but regardless of which of us was putting her to bed the last song was always the same: "Here's a body / There's a bed / There's a pillow / Here's a head / There's a curtain / Here's a night / Here's a puff / And so goodnight."

Now she's four and in a no-bedtime-song phase. Each night we conclude with "saying good night," which consists of a hug, a kiss, a tweak (she and the grownup tweak each other's noses), and a bump. Yes, that last one is a head bump.


I cannot match these bedtime rituals, but they've been a delight to read. My sister tells me Mom used to read to us before bedtime but I don't have any memory of it. Now my routine starts with turning on the electric blanket because my feet can't take cold sheets and then do all the following while the bed warms up: check on the cats/feed the cats/check the doors/check e-mail/shut off computer/apply lip balm/drink water/apply more lip balm/apply hand lotion/climb into bed/read for 5 minutes/get sleepy/shut off electric blanket and go to sleep.


My favorite bedtime ritual for myself was when I was a child. Every summer we'd go out to visit my grandparents in North Dakota. My grandfather played the fiddle and my grandma the piano/organ. They would play and play and play in the evenings and we'd fall asleep to their music-- old-fashioned folksy tunes that are hard to find nowadays (and I'm only 34!). I have such lovely memories of their music!! We are lucky that my mom snuck a tape recorder into the house a couple times (my grandfather always hated to be recorded!) so we still have a few tapes of their music. My husband recorded them onto the computer so we could make CDs. :)

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