My family’s most wonderful time of the day.

A screaming baby at 3 a.m. A toddler who’s inconsolable with night terrors at 4 a.m. The baby again, just before dawn.

My mornings usually get off to a rough start. Between two young children and a dog, it’s just about all I can do to get us fed, dressed and pottyed before 10 a.m. Then there are chores and snack and play group and lunch and bathroom cleaning and babysitting, all jumbled together in a mess of a day.

Sticking to a schedule — heck, even creating a schedule — is not my forté. I would make a lousy German.

Except at bedtime.

Bedtime is the most wonderful time of day. After the dinner dishes have been cleared, we dip each boy in a warm bath and snuggle under the covers for stories and songs. My husband Mike often takes care of 2-year-old Tom, making up voices to go along with his favorite Dr. Seuss stories.

Meanwhile, in the quiet, dark nursery, I cradle 8-month-old Seth in the rocking chair, his giant feet hanging over the armrests. He nurses to sleep while I listen to the soft strains of Mozart from the crib-side CD player. And we are finally at peace.

Article © 2008 by Stacey Duck