Bedtime stories

Before I celebrate my daily precious moment with Beertje, it is time to put Kabouter in bed.  When Jan is home, it is often an father-son moment but sometimes I'm elected to go upstairs or I'm the only adult in the house to join him.

Since our vacation in June, where we didn't drag many books along in our suitcases but were bedtime stories were replaced by "read stories" animation on the iPad, Kabouter often requests to watch a child cartoon before bed.  Now and then he's allowed to watch one episode for 5 minutes as well but I strongly stick to reading stories together almost every evening.

This way I want to teach him the love for books and the love for stories. We count together, we search new details on the pictures, we chuckle beforehand in a well known story about what is going to happen next or we rediscover a forgotten story.
Reading together gives me some quality time with him and a moment to wind down from a busy day together. It's also a relax moment for myself.  Kabouter's often leaning in against me when we both lay together on the bed.  That's the only time he's allowed to use his pacifier, which he returns when we are done and when he's ready to go to sleep. 

He has 2 big plastic boxes filled with many books and while there are some favourites that return more often (e.g. Paw Patrol adventures, Thomas the Train, vehicle/city picture books), there is a rather good rotation of different types of books and types of stories.

His little brother can be a big source of distraction if he's in the room but sometimes the little one joins us in curiosity  or - even cuter- picks his own book out of the boxes, climbs on the other side of the bed and mumbles and nods and points in his own book while he's "reading" his own story.

Together with the washing - tooth brushing - (un)dressing  and with the bedtime rituals for Beertje, I am occupied for a big portion of the evening with the often consequential bedtime of both children. But I enjoy it as it helps me to step out of the rush of each day, away from all to do lists and worries and to spend a serene moment really in the moment of here and now together with them. Only to descend the staircase afterwards and find myself back in all chores awaiting for me and hopefully a little me-time left as well.

when Jan's not at home , on some occasions he can join in in the distance digitally


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