Bedtime for EMUs

Today’s the day we wrap up the launch of Luke Reynolds’ picture book debut, BEDTIME BLASTOFF! One might even say we are tucking it into bed.


So to tuck in Luke’s launch, fellow EMUs are sharing their favorite bedtime routines.


Sarvinder Naberhaus: My favorite bedtime routine was with my very young son. Every night I picked him up, and we went around the room and said “goodnight” to all the items in the room — goodnight to characters within frames… “Goodnight” to all the things he loved most. Then I said goodnight to him, the one thing I loved most.

Elly Swartz: The bedtime routines when my boys were young were some of my favorites and they varied depending on who tucked them in. If it was Mom, it always included a book. I read to them. They read to me. Or both. Then I sang them a song. No need to dwell on that. Needless to say love can only take a tune so far. When the boys realized what the songs were supposed to sound like, that part of the routine ended. If Dad tucked them in, the routine always included an amazing tale he (or they) created. But, whether it was Mom or Dad, it always ended with a goodnight kiss.

Andrea Wang: When my sons were very small, we always said the familiar, “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite,” just before turning out the light. Often, we would substitute another creature for the bedbugs. As they got older, the phrase grew longer. We added “Good night, I love you” in Chinese and English. Then, one of the kids wanted us to add an instruction to “stay away from” whatever thing he found distasteful that day. At one point, he insisted on adding one new horrible item to the list each night (sock lint, skunks, smelly feet, etc.), and we would have to remember them all and recite them back. This took a long time (perhaps his ulterior motive?) and required too many brain cells, so it was quickly shortened to “stay away from ALL stinky things,” which effectively covered all circumstances. I love how the original verse grew and morphed into something wholly unique.

Mylisa Larsen: My children’s favorite bedtime routine was something that was completely counterproductive. My husband would pretend to turn into this bedtime monster and the kids would all run screaming up the stairs while he chased them, growling and pretending to grab at their ankles. This would, it’s true, get them into their rooms but in such a revved up, lets-play-some-more state that we’d spend the next 30 minutes getting people down from light fixtures and trying to keep them from jumping on their beds. Weirdly, none of my children have ever been scared of the monster under the bed or in the closet thing. Apparently, it never occurred to them that such a monster could be anything but fun.

Hayley Barrett: When our kids were little, my husband used to tuck them in and tell them what to dream about. They’d close their eyes and he’d choose a special adventure for each of them, whether it was flying in a rocketship or swimming with dolphins. It helped them happily drift into dreamland.

Janet Fox: When I was little, my mom used to sing to me, while holding me in her lap in the rocking chair. Typical, right? But she didn’t sing the usual kiddie songs. She sang the popular songs of the 1920s and 1930s, popular when she was little. Which meant I heard odd things like “Has Anyone Hear Seen Kelly?” and “She’s Dead In The Coach Ahead.” Now, you’d think my mom was strange, but she was the most middle-of-the-road mother ever. And I still love those songs. They still put me to sleep. Plus – they told stories. Maybe that explains why I love storytelling.

Debbi Michiko Florence: My bedtime routine when I was in elementary school was to arrange my 20+ stuffed animals around me in bed. Each stuffed animal had a name of course, and they “protected me” from whatever scary things lurked in the dark. (Closet door had to be closed!) I had so many stuffed animals that I could hardly move, but it was the only way I could fall asleep. (Secret confession, when my husband is away on business, my dog and two teddy bears sleep with me.)

Katie Slivensky: Here’s my cat’s bedtime routine.

Step 1: Get up from evening nap. Stretch.

Step 2: Find resident human. Stare at her until she notices.

Step 3: Meow at human, who has clearly not realized it is 9:30pm and therefore time for bed.

Step 4: Storm the apartment. Human is being ignorant. Slam cupboard doors. Rip up toilet paper. Jump on laptop.

Step 5: Human is yelling! Perhaps she has realized what time it is, and is expressing shock that she could have missed bed time so severely. Stare hopefully.

Step 6: Fall into despair. Human is never going to bed. Yowl loudly. Scratch at the walls.

Step 7: Give up. Collapse in defeat in hallway. Keep an eye on human.

Step 8: Human is getting up! Human is brushing her teeth! Make sure to lay on her feet and meow every four seconds, so she does not forget about bedtime again.

Step 9: Watch human crawl into bed. Refuse to join her for at least five minutes, or risk looking desperate.

Step 10: Success. Human is now convinced you want nothing to do with her. Jump on her just as she’s drifting off. Settle into position. Use claws liberally. Enjoy sleep until the generous hour of 3 am.


Filed under Book Launch, Celebrations, Happiness, Launch, Picture books, Promotion, Uncategorized

13 responses to “Bedtime for EMUs

  1. These were such fun to read at 2am as while trying to coax my own new little one back to sleep. (Current method: Feed to the point of exhaustion.) Thanks, Emus!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. These all–some sweet, some silly–made me laugh and remember. And Katie, your cat wants to write a picture book called How To Put Your Human To Bed.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. katieslivensky

    It’s been awesome seeing all the BEDTIME BLASTOFF related posts this week! This collection of blog stories today made me smile.

    Congratulations again on your “literal” launch, Luke!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love all these stories of connection, between ourselves and our children, our parents, even our animals (both stuffed and live)!

    Janet — your story reminded me that my husband used to sing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” to our sons as a lullaby! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These routines ranging from adorable to hilarious are all wonderful! Though most of us are no longer parents of young children, it’s sweet that we all fondly remember those years. Thus my PB, TUCK-IN TIME (2014, FSG) featuring a close, loving, silly – and ultimately successful – routine ending with a kiss.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Andrea Wang, I see a picture book manuscript in there somewhere. Luke, I hope your book becomes a favorite bedtime read for many!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Janet Fox

    These are such fun!!! I particularly love the cat and yes, Katie, please write a PB!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Elly Swartz

    Love all of these. So fun, sweet and funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Luke Reynolds

    Oh–these are so awesome! Tonight, I plan on trying each one of them with my two little guys–although maybe not the monster one, as it sounds like that might keep them awake! 🙂 Although running up the stairs screaming sounds pretty fun too! Thanks so much for sharing these–so awesome!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mariagianferrari

    Such great routines. I’ll add Becca’s: snore on my living room bed; snore of my study bed; snore very loudly on my TV room bed; snore on my human sister’s bed 🙂


  11. These were so much fun to read! I used to let my son pick 3 characters and I’d create a story. And I totally get the “cat” routine, Katie!


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