When our first son was born, I began a nightly ritual of "talking about our day."
"First we woke up and we were very angry because our pants were full of pee. So mom cleaned you up and put powder all over and you felt so fresh..."
Yeah - pretty basic stuff.
As he got older, he would tell me about his day.
"I went to school. I ate lunch. I came home."
He hit all the highlights.
I did this with all the kids. I still do it. Although I'd be lying if I said it happened every night.
Nowadays, they tell me a lot more than just about their day. They tell me about kids in their class, fights, things that are bothering them, funny stories, crushes and first kisses. They talk and I sit on their bed, rub their back and listen. I don't say anything even though it is really hard sometimes.
It works because of the quiet and dark of night.
It can take more than 2 hours for me to get them all to bed. I don't always feel like doing it.
But how can I not take advantage of the dark to listen to my kids talk?