Day 1: Books Before Bed

Books before bed, always.

It doesn’t matter how late it is or how tired we are or what the day looked like.  We are unwavering in our commitment to reading before bed.

Last night, I sat on Maddie’s bedroom floor as she thumbed through her bookcase.  (The girls always choose the books, not us.)  She chose an old favorite, My Friend is Sad, and a new favorite, Bad Kitty.  First we giggled at Maddie’s character voice for Piggy, which was somewhere between an old granny lady and a toddler just learning to speak.  The more we giggled, the sillier her voice became.  Then, we laughed from the core of our bellies at Petunia’s insistence that Kitty is actually a cow.  After our laughter finally subsided, I turned the page of Bad Kitty to continue reading, but a rogue giggle escaped Maddie’s lips.  I glanced her way and as our eyes found each other, we both erupted once more.  Maddie fell over on the carpet and laughed till she cried. I laughed, too, and thought my heart might burst.  Eventually, we regained our composure and finished the chapter.

“Good night, Maddie,” I whispered a few moments later as I was tucking her into bed.

“Good night, cow sister,” Maddie replied (Bad Kitty reference for those unfamiliar).  And the laughter started all over again.

Books before bed, always.


I am participating in the March SOLSC at Two Writing Teachers.  A story a day for 31 days.


34 thoughts on “Day 1: Books Before Bed

  1. I love how you share your love for reading with you children. Maudie & Katie are so lucky to have a mom that shares that love with them everyday. Thank you for sharing this slice and your love for books!

  2. I guess I should invest in books then. Having smartphones and tablet around does not develop kids imagination. Nice read. Will remember this whenever I became a father.

  3. My mother would sit on a chair in the hallway, between my room and my brother’s room. I remember how often she would start to fall asleep as she was reading. I continue the tradition of reading with my children but we snuggle together on the sofa and I don’t think I’ve ever fallen asleep while reading although I can remember many times not feeling well and reading between coughing fits or without a voice but “books before bed, always”.

  4. “Books before bed, always.” My husband once (only once) threatened to take away story time for some minor infraction. He learned that no one was allowed to take away that special time of day. I love your story of those irrepressible giggles and yes, I wish I had blogged when my two were little!

  5. The deep belly laughs are the best. Doesn’t it seem like kids get to do all that and we adults have to be serious all the time? How great to read a slice that includes adult and child – mom and daughter – doing some deep belly laughing together!!! There is a shared moment that Maddie will never, ever forget. I can see in my mind her doing that with her daughter, or son, one day. 🙂

  6. Dana, you know how you wrote yesterday on Facebook about your favorite author and how you just love to read her writing? I feel that way when I read your blog. You just have such a way with writing, a real talent. I just absolutely love reading your blog posts and look forward to what you are going to write about each day.

  7. What a joy to feel like I was right there giggling with you. If only books before bed could be mandatory for parenthood! Thanks for letting me be a part of your slice.

  8. Oh – I miss those nights reading to my kids! I still read every night and my kids, all grown up read, before bed as well in their own apartments! I love Bad Kitty! Happy Reading!

  9. The grand-girls so often ask if I’ve found more ‘funny’ books to read. Elephant & Piggy are some of them, but there are others. I’ll need to look for Bad Kitty, Dana. Nothing like some good giggling before sleep!

  10. Keep it going — mine our 16 and 14 and we still have a family book. It might night be every night but it is still an incredible bond. You will always treasure those moments.

  11. We try our best to make books before bed happen…there have been nights when it didn’t but we make up for it the next day. Your story is so sweet-those little giggles are precious.

  12. I miss those books before bed moments. Thanks for helping me remember those precious moments. When you wrote “I thought my heart might burst” you showed how precious these times are to you. You will remember them for many years to come.

  13. I love books before bed!! I can’t wait until I can share my love of books with my future children. It’s such a precious time for you and the girls. Your word choice totally put me in the room with you and your family. Thanks for the peek into your life!

  14. I love bedtime books! I’m sharing with my granddaughter now, although I don’t see her every day. Sometimes when I see the moon out my window, I say to myself (very quietly), “Good Night, Moon. Goodnight room. Good night cow jumping over the moon…” He He Love the giggles!

  15. One of the things I am most looking forward to when I have children is this exact ritual. Thank you for giving me something to dream about.

  16. Love how your little ladies have found the love of good books! Reading before bed is my all time favorite too!

  17. I love this! I started reading to Tommy at night basically on day one of his life, and now poor Oliver is 3 months old and barely gets a book. I’m going to start reading to him too, tomorrow! I hope to do this as long as they’ll let me.

  18. Love this, Dana! Books before bed is a must; some of my favorite memories from my childhood are of my mom reading to me! Plus, a good laugh before bed never hurts!

  19. What a great way to end the day! I have such fond memories of my mother reading to me and my siblings at bedtime. I know that your girls will look back on their childhood and remember those special moments. The circular ending was a nice touch- wrapped everything up so nicely.

  20. Lovely post – it sure brought back the memories with my 3 children. We always had to read, sometimes 3 or 4 books before they would settle for the night. It was a special time for sure – still miss it.

  21. There is such a bond and connection with belly laughs. No words have to be spoken, no joke told aloud, you just get it. Those are some of the moments, when they happen, I cherish. They’re the real thing.

  22. Thank you for conjuring up some special memories. My daughter is now 32 and we still sometimes fall apart laughing together…often are sharing a reference to something funny we read or that happened to us. All it takes is a few words and we get going!

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