I went to college in Connecticut, and used to take the train into New York City. It was a nice weekend day trip, and I particularly enjoyed visiting Central Park. During one visit to Central Park, I remember seeing a mother pushing a stroller with a cute, blond baby, who was probably right around a year old. She was reciting to him, from memory, Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I remember marveling at the fact that she had read the book so many times that she knew the words by heart. By the time Frog was one year old, I understood why she knew the story by heart. It is a perfect bedtime book. If a book could be a lullaby, then Good Night Moon is one.
This time around, I already know the story by heart, and I decided to make it a part of Monkey’s bedtime. Once his acid reflux got under control, we decided to implement a consistent and rigid bedtime routine. We also “Ferberized” him. (Much to the horror of my attachment parenting soul!) Every night, we follow the same routine: Bathe, get dressed, nursing without falling asleep, and the finally I recite Good Night Moon. I recite the story as I walk him to his crib, and I place him in the crib during the last lines:
Good night stars. Good night air. Good night noises everywhere.
I’m not sure if he associates the story and words with bedtime yet, but eventually he will. I love those last lines of the book. They make me feel snugly and peaceful.
A week or so ago, I was rummaging around my office closet and found a nice sized canvas that I bought more than a year ago. There is a blank spot over the double bed in the nursery, so I decided to paint my version of the last two pages of the book. If you go back and read the book, you’ll see that the last lines of the book are in black and white, but otherwise, you’ll see stars, rolling hills and a night’s sky. I figured I could make a nice primitive rendition of the book for Monkey’s room. I used paint that I already had in house, some of it was Martha Stewart pearl finished craft acrylic paint. I also used some Lumiere paint. I sketched out an idea of house the layout should look, and then just spend a couple of hours painting. Like the book it was very relaxing. Granted, it’s not museum-worthy, but it’s a nice personalized piece of art from me to my little Monkey!
By the way, if you are looking for some other great books to read to your little one, Eva, over at Tales of the Scotts, has some excellent suggestions. Just look up the “Read with Me Category.”
What are your favorite bedtime stories for your little ones?
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