Many families have bedtime routines. Whenever I asked for a bedtime story, my Dad would sing this song.
Most families have daily routines that get them through the day. We had many in my childhood home, but my favourite was the bedtime routine. After getting ready for bed I’d snuggle up to my Father, saying ‘Tell me a story before I go to bed.’ He’d immediately launch into a song by the same name. From memory the words of the first verse go:
Tell me a story, tell me a story,
tell me a story before I go to bed,
you promised me, you said you would,
you’ve gotta give in so I’ll be good, tell me a story before I go to bed.
My Dad was a great storyteller. Sometimes he would simply tell a story of his own, an old familiar or a new one he’d decide to make up. Other times he’d read a quick story from a favourite book. The results were always the same. He’d hardly get to the end of the story and I’d feel myself drifting off to sleep. He’d then launch into another song, one about the sandman coming so I’d better close my eyes.
Sometimes I’d even manage to squeeze two stories out of my Dad. The first would be told out on the couch, by the warmth of the chip heater fire by the stove, then the next followed once I was in bed. My Dad loved telling stories and loved singing, although his repertoire of songs was quite small. The bedtime songs seemed quite old-fashioned to me, making me wonder now f they’d been sung to him by his mother or father when he was a child.
What a wonderful way for any child to go to sleep. Is it any wonder that this is the routine I remember the best from my childhood? Stories are magical, carrying children into another world, helping them unwind from the day and when they’re told with love, that is even better.
Children like the consistency of routine. It makes them feel safe and secure as they go about their daily lives. The routine of song and story before bedtime is definitely one I recommend for all parents and families.
Other childhood memories by the same author:
Published in: Family