Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday - Good Night, Sleep Tight



What was bedtime like when you were growing up? Were your parents strict in enforcing bedtimes? Were you a difficult one to get to bed? Did your parents share stories about getting you to sleep when you were a baby? When did your parents turn bedtime over to you? Were there any special rituals/routines a parent did - books, singing a special song, etc.? Nightlights, music, special doll/blanket or other things? Did you have your own bed or did you share with a sibling? Did you have nighttime fears and bad dreams? How did you handle them? Did you ever walk or talk in your sleep? Feel free to also share any routines you have done with your kids.

My mom was big on bedtimes, much to my chagrin. I was forever trying to come up with a "special occasion" reason to stay up later! All through elementary school, my bedtime was 8:30 during the school year and 9:00 in the summer. I finally got "promoted" to 9:00 during the school year and 9:30 in the summer when I was in junior high. When I was in high school, she finally gave up left it up to me.

Of course, being the youngest, I especially hated bedtime because the rest of the house was still up and about! I usually sang for awhile before I fell asleep, and I remember my sister practicing the piano and I would sing the hymns she was playing--including trying to "help" her when she messed up by singing the correct note a couple of times. But the biggest memory of bedtime was something I gave my mom a hard time about for YEARS. As soon as I was in bed, I would hear my mom open the refrigerator and get out some ice and pour herself--and sometimes everyone else, EXCEPT ME!--a little Dr. Pepper. I told her that was totally cruel; I could hear the ice clinking in the glasses and knew I was missing out, not to mention feeling it was a "Linda's in bed! Let's have DP" celebration. Of course, now that I'm a mom, I totally get it, but it annoyed me to no end and "ice clinking in the glasses" eventually became a family joke, a synonym for missing out on something.

After I got my "five-year-old bed" and was in the same room as my older sisters, there were times they needed to be in their room after my bedtime. On those nights, I would go to bed in my parents' room and then they would walk me to my bed later. I rarely woke up. In spite of that, I never was a sleepwalker, but I have talked in my sleep all my life and still do occasionally.

I don't remember my mom singing or there being any type of particular ritual. I do remember her coming in and praying with me lots of times. Of course, in those days in Southern Baptist churches there was lots of "Amen-ing" during the preaching and during the prayers. I remember one night when my mom was praying, I decided to say "Amen" at some point in the middle. I remember she looked up and said, "Do you want me to stop?" I got really embarrassed and that was the last time I ever "Amen'd" in the middle of anything!

I've been told that when I was a baby, my brother used to sing to me (my crib was in his room). Although I don't remember it, it makes me smile to think of my 11- or 12-year old brother singing hymns to me!

I always went around and hugged everyone in the family and told them good-night. My dad would often say, "Good night, sleep tight, and don't let the bed bugs bite."

I usually had my Winnie the Pooh in the bed, but I didn't snuggle with it. I didn't like sleeping with dolls because they were too hard, so my mom made me a little sock doll. It had buttons for the eyes and nose, and I remember that I liked holding it up against my faith with the "nose" in my mouth as I went to sleep. Now it horrifies me to imagine a kid doing that and the choking danger, but in those days before seat belts in the backseat, car seats, and bicycle helmets, we lived on the edge!

I was pretty scared as a child, especially at night. We didn't have nightlights, but I always had to have the hall light on when I was going to sleep. I've mentioned before that our house was broken into twice the year I was about seven, and it traumatized me. I had bad dreams for years and would get up and run down the hall and get in bed with my parents. Here's my weirdest fear, though. I always--even in the summer when it was hot (and we didn't have central a/c)-- had to sleep with the sheet over me. It was almost a straight line from the back door through the kitchen and across the hall to the end of my bed, and I was scared someone was going to come in the back door and tickle my feet! Oh, the things kids think of and fear! And my sisters always thought it was funny that if I woke up and thought someone was in the room, I would get up and run to my folks' bedroom. They said I should have just "played possum" but you aren't very logical when you are little and scared!

Although my mom didn't routinely sing to me at bedtime, there was a special song that she would sing at various times that was "my" song. It was popular in 1947, right before my parents married. (And interestingly enough, it was written by Jack Lawrence for the six-year-old daughter of a friend, Lee Eastman. Linda Eastman grew up and became Linda McCartney!)



With my kids, I always sang the same three songs and prayed with them when they went to bed. (Actually the three were different for each child, but that child got the same three each night.) I made up a song (a ditty, actually; it was just a four-liner) for each of them and that was one of the ones I sang every single night for years and years - probably all through their elementary school years! And yes, I was big on bedtimes, too!


What were your bedtime rituals? Share your memories and link up here so we can all enjoy them! Maybe I'll drink a Dr. Pepper while I read!




Photobucket

View blog reactions

12 comments:

Jill said...

I love that you had to have your sheet up so someone could not tickle your feet! It is so funny how little kids think!
I am joining in for the first time! I came via Sara!
Have a great weekend.
Flashback Friday is FUN!

Kathy said...

Linda, Good memories, for sure...except for missing out on the nightly Dr. Pepper. LOL You are blessed to have so many warm and wonderful childhood memories :) Have a great weekend, Kathy

Kim said...

I'd never heard that song before -- how cool to have your "own" song :)

I think the "ice clinking in glasses" is too funny. Also the sheet thing. I have to have a sheet over me too, even in summer. Not sure why though.

Mmmmm, a Dr. Pepper sounds really good. It's one of those things we can't get here. Will just have to settle for a Coke :)

sara said...

this was great. I am still laughing that you thought someone was going to come in and tickle your feet!!!

my parents were big on bed times too and so was I.

One thing I don't like about summer (yes, there is something) is that I love a comforter on me when I sleep. I love the weight of it, but it is just too hot in the summer for that.

Janell said...

I like the way your questions inspire me to remember things I've thought were forgotten. Thanks!

Barbara H. said...

I had to sit this one out because I have no memory of any bedtime ritual at all -- it seems like the parents just told us when it was time for bed, and we went.

bp said...

The DP story made me laugh!!
When i read your title I remembered tht we always said Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs might too at bedime.

bp said...

The DP story made me laugh!!
When i read your title I remembered tht we always said Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs might too at bedime.

quilly said...

I am so sorry I have been missing your memes. I am going to try to get to this one today. Who knows when though. Already I am behind on what I should be doing!

skoots1mom said...

What was bedtime like when you were growing up? 9pm until 16yo
your parents strict in enforcing bedtimes? yes
Were you a difficult one to get to bed? yes, i was afraid i'd miss something...
Did your parents share stories about getting you to sleep when you were a baby? i always slept w/ my big sister

When did your parents turn bedtime over to you? 16yo...i could stay up until 11 if i wanted...usually I didn't want to

Were there any special rituals/routines a parent did - books, singing a special song, etc.? Nighty kisses, I would hug them and kiss them goodnight

Nightlights, music, special doll/blanket or other things? nighlights for a while; don't remember when they stopped

Did you have your own bed or did you share with a sibling? shared until she got married when I was 13yo

Did you have nighttime fears and bad dreams? Yep, the Jolly Green Giant was always chasing me and I'd hide many places...I never could figure this one out...I loved the JGGiant.

How did you handle them? Mother would come in an calm me if she heard me crying...

Did you ever walk or talk in your sleep? yep, quite often. I'd take my pillow and go into the bathroom and put the seat down on the toilet...she often found me sitting there saying something, but my Mother never knew what I was saying...she'd walk me back to bed. I never remembered it the next mornings...guess I was physically running from the Giant again, hahahah.

Feel free to also share any routines you have done with your kids.

quilly said...

I remember being read to a lot, but never at bed time. I have no memories of being tucked in. I remember that I would go through the house and kiss everyone there, then go to bed. Since I put myself in bed I used to try to race the light -- I'd flip the switch and run and jump into bed. i didn't want to be too close to the edge in case the dark monster (he lived under the bed) jumped out to get me.

bekahcubed said...

Sounds like singing was a big part of bedtime--between your brother singing to you, you singing to yourself, and then you singing to your children. I think that's pretty neat!