Our newest must-read bedtime book (and really, Tye's favorite book any time of the day) is the book The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood and Audrey Wood.
I first discovered this book when I taught a classroom of two year olds in Germany. Daily, the majority of the students requested this book, and everyone was captivated by Little Mouse. The simple plot, in which Little Mouse picks a red, ripe strawberry and can only save it from the Big Hungry Bear by sharing it with the reader, is easy to follow for young readers. Children seem easily engaged by the text, too, in which the reader speaks directly to Little Mouse rather than telling a story about the character. Each reading, the child participates in an interaction with the mouse and helps to solve his problem. Tye, who particularly likes eating the strawberry along with Little Mouse, could read this book on repeat for hours.
After our books, we turn out lights, say a prayer, sing goodnight to Mico, Baby, Mommy, Daddy, and Tye, and then sing a lullaby as we rock and nurse. Since April, I've been singing the lullaby "Su La Li" to Tye, one that we learned in Music Together and I have now sung for hours upon hours. Tye's newest infatuation is "Story About Sammy," a sweet children's song I learned as a teacher.
(I have no clue who these kids are, but thanks to a search on YouTube, you can watch their adorable faces sing "Story About Sammy")
Now as we rock each night, Tye requests "Sammy song" and falls asleep listening to my version of the song, in which Sammy is a girl with a very, very long list of animals she'd like to imitate on her way to the store. Should I dare attempt to sing any other song, Tye will open her eyes and ask for "more Sammy song." While I can only guess why Tye loves this song so much, I have a feeling it's because of the simple, repetitive verses combined with animals and their actions.
Many nights in the past, I've brought my phone or Nook into Tye's bedroom with me so I can play games or read as she falls asleep. Recently, though- perhaps because her second birthday is around the corner- I've been cherishing our time together as we rock and sing. I remind myself that today is the youngest Tye will ever be again. Tomorrow, she'll wake a day older, and I never know when our bedtime routine just might change again.