Chaos. Total lip-biting, toe-curling chaos. That was how I’d describe bedtime with two in the first twelve weeks of Flinders’ life. For about half the week, because my husband works away sometimes, or can be late home, I do solo bedtime. You all know how that can be. You come away traumatised if the slightest thing goes awry.
Like a total novice, at first I thought I could bath a newborn and a four year old at the same time. A four year old who had had my complete bedtime attention all her life, complete with very cosy stories and a long but loving goodnight routine. Missing steps at every turn, faltering through a story whilst trying to feed a baby, I was soon more upset than the kids were.
I solved it all, and I’m not exaggerating here, ALL of it, by inventing secret TV.
Secret TV is just my Macbook. It’s just CBeebies streamed on a small screen, on our bed. It was called secret TV in an attempt to make it just enticing enough for her to not mind watching it alone. It soon became the most luxurious part of her evening. Within weeks, she’d taught herself to scroll between shows.
So, from that moment on, the baby was bathed and bedded in the 25 minutes it takes to whip through Our Family, My Story, Where in the World? or indeed the world’s least convincing multiples, Topsy and Tim.
CBeebies really saved my ass at bedtime, just as buying a portable DVD player has saved my ass on some longer car and plane journeys. I’ve started to build up a good second hand and new film collection. Plus, we’ve bought the odd film from Sky+ and they send you a soft copy too, which I actually think is pretty good value.
There’s nothing sweeter than listening to your kid sing along to the show tunes via headphones, when you can’t hear the original. However, am I the only mum that has a huge Spotify show tunes playlist? Annie, Bugsy, Oliver! and Mary Poppins are our current favourites. She does not enjoy my interjections of Les Mis. But I do!
Also, when I’m really stuck, I use CBeebies radio on the iPlayer Radio app.. Do you use it? It’s amazing, there’s so much cool audio on there, stories, songs, little plays. We love the Old Jack’s Boat stories of his childhood in particular. The familiar voices of Mr Tumble and Mr Bloom reading stories are really comforting to the kids.
Our top watches and listens are:
- CBeebies – Our Family, Melody, Where in the World? Time for School, School of Roars
- Netflix – Mia and Me, Spirit, She Ra Princess of Power, Care Bears, Littlest Pet Shop
- Sky – Sofia the First, Elena of Avalor, Tom and Jerry, PJ Masks
And we are very partial to Simon Mayo on Radio 2. His opening jingles are the first things I remember Tibbs singing to herself in bed. Not sure what to say about that!
What do you watch?