1. Read a story. We run into his room, I get his pillow, sit on the ground and put his pillow in front of me for him to sit on. He goes and picks a book from his bookcase (normally "I'm a Big Brother," which we call the airplane book because there is an airplane on one page).
2. Put the book away. We say "The End!" with a big oomph, and then Tyler claps the book shut, and puts it away, either on his big Thomas Train, or in his closet (never really back on the bookshelf).
3. Say a prayer. This is the best part for me, because Tyler had just started repeating what I say. He folds his chubby little arms, and says things like "Dee Heaby Fawd," (dear Heavenly Father) and "Deejus name" (in the name of Jesus Christ). It's so sweet to hear his little voice praying, and I try to tell him often what praying IS, so that he knows what it is we are doing and who we are talking to.
4. Lay down. He drags his pillow back to the bed, and lays down, and I get his Fishy blanket that my Aunt Joy made for him (a big hit, by the way). He lays down, and asks for "Mok?" I turn off the light, get a glass of water, and come back to Tyler hiding under his Fishy blanket, giggling. We play peek-a-boo until he gets too thirsty, he drinks about two sips, and then flops back down. I cover him up with Fishy blanket, kiss him goodnight, and then say "Love you!" He replies with "Luh-yoo!" and we say it back and forth as I close the door.
It's a super long routine, and it takes about 15 minutes to get through it because we really do every single little thing on this list EVERY TIME. But not only is it a special little time for us, it is SO EASY to put him to sleep. He never makes a peep after I leave, until I come in to get him at the end of his nap or in the morning. This is really a relief to me, knowing at least one baby will be snoozing peacefully through each night while I wrestle with the other.
(watching the rain today out our window)