Bedtime routines are well, just that, pretty routine. And ours is no different. Every other night there’s a bath with lots of playtime, lavender lotion (a holdout from the baby days), teeth brushing and “jam jams.” Miles then crawls into my lap in the recliner with his blanket, pacifier or “hafi” (I know, I know, we are working on it) and a glass of milk.
I typically have a stack of books but can’t even crack them before I’m commanded, “No, Dinotrain!”
So I pull out the beloved and well worn copy of “All Aboard the Dinotrain.” Not only have I nearly memorized it but my 2-year-old has much of it memorized.
They’re loading up the dinotrain with coal and oil, lumber and grain. And high above the whistle’s chord ring dinoshouts of, “All aboard.”
*He always joins me for the “All aboard,” typically shouting it with his head straight up in the air.*
The dinostoker shovels coal; the flames are under his control. The dinoboiler builds up steam soon pistons pump a rhythmic theme.
*We rhythmically whisper, “chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga,” before shouting, “choo choo!”*
“Farewell,” the dinofamilies cry. With cheers the dinos wave good bye. Adventures wait just down the track. “We’re off,” they say. “But we’ll be back.”
*On this page Miles is memorized by the daddy dinos glasses. Repeatedly pointing and excitedly saying, “Glasses.” But he’s always sure to be done in time to chime in the “we’ll be back” part.*
The engine coughs and dinochugs. The train moves like a line of slugs. “We haven’t travelled very far, let’s dinopush each railroad car.”
*This is the page where we talk about the colors of each dinosaur and train car. Like his mom, Miles seems to like the “pink dino” best of all.*
I won’t bore you with all of the pages, and I’m afraid I might forget a stanza or two (I’m at work and don’t travel with the book at my sides at all times). But there are a few favorite parts I want to share.
The load gets too heavy when the train is going up a hill so they toss their dinofreight and start to fly through the mountains.
“They dinoscream and squeal, ‘Yipee,’ and wave their dinoarms with glee. They dinoduck and hide their eyes but then they get a big surprise.”
The dinos land in the water with a “KERSPLASH!”
I’m the official bedtime story reader in our household while Michael is the official bath giver. So in an effort to incorporate Michael into our story time each night he contributes the “Kersplash.” So when we get to that page Miles says, “Daddy,” with a smile anticipating Michael’s animated shout.
The dinos finally realize they want to “shake this lake and head back home.”
“They pile aboard a handcar there to see-saw back with dinoflair. They dinopump instead of chug to make it home for one big hug.”
*I always get a big hug at that part, my personal favorite spot.*
“We’ll never take another train… but how about a dinoplane!”
I have a love hate relationship with the book. It is the thing that helped Miles learn to count (we always count the dinos on the inside and backside cover) and he loves it so much. And the words are quite catchy. So catchy in fact I find myself repeating them in my head hours after Miles is in bed.
“Dinotrain one more time momma. One more time momma?” he pleads.
They’re loading up the dinotrain…
Does your night time routine look anything like this? What’s the best and worst part of your bedtime rituals?