Bedtime/Naptime - The 'Little' Things That Make a Huge Difference (LxL#2)
by, 20-Oct-2011 at 09:32 (612 Views)
Lifestyle Little - Post #2
The 'Little' Things That Make a Huge Difference:
For this week's installment I'm introducing a new segment entitled "The 'Little' Things That Make a Huge Difference" in order to highlight some of the aspects of 'little' life that I find important to not only a little one's identity, but to the Big/little (B/l) relationship dynamic as well. Since there are so many of these aspects worthy of highlighting, expanding-on, and discussing, I want to split them up so that I don't end up writing a book in blog-form
In a B/l relationship, it's very important for boundaries to be in place. Whether you're a little who is introducing your Big to the fundamentals of your ideal relationship or a Big who is trying to determine what you can do to make your connection with your little one a bit more genuine, these boundaries will aid in the development of both parties.
A very important boundary in my opinion, is a little one's bedtime. The last thing a busy toddler wants is to be told they need to go to bed, but it's important for them to have a solid sleep schedule so they can be healthy and happy.
They not only need to get enough rest, but if you think about it, a little one doesn't always understand the concept of "tomorrow" and can be very upset by their day's experiences coming to an end. As they may go through this mourning-like process, it's important for the Big to help them relax and ensure them that there are going to be adventures lying ahead when they open their eyes in the morning. Once they are retired to bed, they will most likely recapture all of the memorable moments of their day and reflect on their experiences.
The little one is not the only beneficiary of the bedtime process. Grown-ups need their rest and relaxation time as well! While administering appropriate bedtime rules and rituals, the Big solidifies each role respectively while providing a secure structure for the both of them. Once their little one is in bed, the Big has the opportunity to take care of whatever it is they didn't have time to do while "on duty." It is the time to finish undone chores, play video games, or take a snooze of their own.
It's not difficult to be pulled out of 'little mode' sometimes by being reminded that we are physically adult. It can be done by something as simple as having your phone ring. These kinds of things happen all the time, so it's important to have little cues and cornerstones of little life in place throughout your regular routine, even if they are intermittent. Do what is possible. Do what is comfortable; When possible, turn the tides on your adult life. Instead of being pulled out of little-mode, get pulled out of grown-up mode by your bedtime!
I noticed from the very beginning that having a set bedtime impacted me significantly. My Mommy chose midnight as my bedtime because it was realistic for both of us. It gave us a chance to have a social life, but kept us on a short enough leash that we could maintain our responsibilities.
It was tough to get used to the unconditional requirement of my bedtime, though. One night shortly after Mommy and I started seeing each other on a full-time basis, we were hanging out with two of our friends. It was a classic 'dinner and a movie at their place' kind of night and halfway through the movie, my eyes were getting heavy. Mommy looked at her phone and it read -11pm.
"Uh-oh, it's time to get you home, huh stinkers? It's almost your bedtime." She said aloud, but in a 6-12 inch voice. I nodded, knowing there would be no arguing with her, even though I wanted to see the end of the movie. She continued, only this time addressing the whole room.
"We're gonna go. I gotta get this little one to bed. It's almost midnight." She announced, indicating that they already knew when my bedtime was.
"Awww, she's so tired..." Bailey said, looking at me curled up on the couch, sucking my thumb.
"Yeah, it's getting late for babies!" Mommy said as she helped me to my feet as we prepared to leave.
I was a bit taken-back at first because of how receptive my friends were to the fact that I, being a full-grown woman, had to abide by my girlfriend-imposed bedtime. I mentioned this to Mommy on the ride home and her response was merely,
"Huh? They've never thought of you as a grown-up, silly."
I thought about it for a while, and as it turns out, what she said was for the most part true. The next few times we visited for dinner it became quite apparent that it was true so I seldom let my grown-up side show.
One night we were visiting for dinner and I sat at the dinner table, coloring. Suddenly Bailey brought my food over and set it in front of me, already cut up into little pieces with a joyful,
"Here you go, Chickpea!"
I believe it's easier for people on the outside to swallow our relationship dynamic because of how enthusiastically our roles are presented and how innocent it truly is. I saw this first-hand with my friends, and more notably with my family a couple of months later while we were on vacation:
My parents were cleaning up the kitchen of the resort condo at which we were staying and Mommy and I were watching television with my brothers. We sat on the floor in front of the couch, Mommy holding me as I sucked my thumb. A commercial came on and suddenly she realized that it was getting late. She lovingly instructed,
"Alright, up little one! Let's get you changed. It's almost bedtime." My brothers didn't bat an eye as I was led by the hand into the bedroom by my girlfriend to have my diaper changed for bedtime. I kind of wanted to just go to bed at that point because I was a little nervous being totally little around my brothers, but Mommy insisted that we finish watching our program since I still had another fifteen minutes before I turned into a pumpkin.
I returned to the living room in a short nightdress with my diaper slightly visible. My brothers weren't phased by it one bit. I tried my hardest to detect some kind of reaction, but there was none. They were totally used to it.
These are a couple of examples of when something like an enforced bedtime seems like a big deal to a little one, but to grown-ups, it's just part of being a child. No big deal.
I hope you found this segment of "The 'Little' Things..." helpful. As always, I encourage all of you to leave me comments, thoughts, or suggestions on what you think or what you'd like me to address in the future!
<3 Thanks for reading <3