I’m not really sure how it started.
It used to be quite simple. I’d read Jack a book, tuck him into bed and he’d go to sleep.
Now… it’s not so simple.
It starts with bringing up a half-full cup of milk and some sort of snack in a small bowl. These offerings are gently placed on the ottoman beside Jack’s bed.
The chewable allergy pill is eaten, the potty is peed on (quite literally), underpants are switched out for a night time pull-up, teeth brushed, a book is chosen, you know… all the basics.
Then, I cuddle up on the bed with Jack and we read the book together.
Sometimes it’s two books. But if it’s a long one, mommy sticks to her guns and only reads one. Because mommy is tired.
Now, the fun part starts. So daddy is summoned to the room. Usually by Jack yelling at the top of the stairs, “RUNNING HUGS! RUNHUGS!”
It’s a thing we do.
Jack starts off in the corner of the room and claps his hands together as if he is an athlete preparing to enter the field. He makes eye contact with first me and then Travis for a split second, and then he’s off. There are two versions of the running hug. When he runs to me, I catch him and we relax into a snuggly hug topped with kisses.
Daddy’s version is different.
Jack runs across the room at full speed – sometimes dodging Ollie, who has decided that he may be a threat – then jumps/throws himself into daddy’s arms. Daddy leans back in the recliner and lifts Jack above his head while Jack flaps his arms like little bird wings. There is some random kicking where daddy tries not to get kicked in the junk, then Jack dismounts in a back flip.
Don’t believe me?
After running hugs, I tuck Jack into bed. Then, he calls out as I leave “I love you 80-90 times” because he thinks that is a really big number. As I go to my room to do my own bedtime routine, he immediately jumps out of bed and follows me for another hug.
I have no idea how we started this routine, but I know it won’t go on forever. And to be honest, I kinda like it.