We recently added a new element to Gwyneth's bedtime routine in hopes of convincing her that cribs are for sleeping in, blankets are for cuddling under, and that lullabies lead to slumber. We each take a baby doll or stuffed animal, cradle it in our arms, and sing the berceuse "Dodo, bebe do, bebe dormira peut-etre/Dodo, bebe do, bebe dormira bientot." (Or rather, I do; my husband invents his own lullabies in English for her.) Then we tuck the dolls under a blankie and kiss them and stroke their forehead and wish them a bonne nuit.
As you can see from the video, Gwyneth participates sweetly, lovingly, carefully (until she tries to shove the dolly in between the slats of the crib), and she even approximates the lullaby, singing "Dodo, dodo, dodo." Awwww.
And if you'll indulge me for one other bedtime anecdote?
First, an example of onomatopoeia in French: "toc, toc, toc" is the sound you make for the knock on a door. (The day that Gwyneth learned how to say this, by the way, was the last time I could count on two minutes of calm in the bathroom: I close the door, she knocks and says "toc, toc, toc" simultaneously, and then she throws the door open. "Maman here! Maman here!" Because, at a year and a half old, you understand that you can announce your presence with a toc but not that you should wait for someone to tell you to entrer.) Okay, keep that word in mind during the following story:
One of the few English words I regularly use in French with my kids is "tuck" at bedtime, when I'm helping them snuggle tightly under their blankets. "Tuck-tuck-tuck-tuck-tuck," I'll say as I pull the blanket tight over Griffin. "Tuck-tuck-tuck-tuck-tuck," as I squeeze Bear and Girafe Chaussette on either side of him.
Yes, I suppose I could say "je te borde dans le lit"--I'm tucking you into your bed--or try a direct translation like "borde-borde-borde-borde-borde," but it doesn't feel right.
For me, each and every "tuck" conveys "good night, sleep tight, I love you, you amazing little creature, and I'm so glad that you're not too big to let me read to you and comfort you and tuck you in at night."
Anyway, I was "tuck-tuck-tuck"ing Gwyneth as usual, and she looked up at me quizzically. Then she took her tiny fist and rapped it on her chest. "Toc, toc, toc!"
Awwww. "Toc" about adorable!