I love this time of year. The evenings are long and warm. Things are budding and the sunsets seem that much more amazing. Before miss Emily arrived I would just hope in my car and go for a drive across backroad, ending up in bizarre, but beautiful, places.
However, as the days push later Emily's bedtime does not. She quickly fades into crankiness around 6:30pm. We are lucky to make it to 7pm with a bath, book, bottle, and bed. The routine leaves me exhausted, tired, and tied to the house with a sleeping infant in her crib. Watching the sun fade into golden and then red prettiness made me sort of resent my responsibilities. I'd then close all the curtains in the living room as if it were already dark out to block out the golden hour proceeding sunset.
Then I decided that maybe every once and a while cutting a corner or two at bedtime was okay. So, at Emily's cranky time pajamas were donned and a warm bottle was made. We packed up the car seat and hit the road.
It seemed odd at first, violating the sanctity of the bedtime routine in favor of heading out onto the back roads, but Emily didn't care in the least. Since she can hold her bottle she lazily propped it just enough to slowly drain it and then drift off to sleep. As she slumbered Shawn and I felt free. We could drive aimlessly, explore new back roads, and talk just like old times... only now there's a cute little sleeping person in the back seat.
Something about turning bedtime into a field trip for Shawn and I made us genuinely happy. The countryside seemed more alive and scenic than ever. It's the next best thing to happen to bedtime since Emily starting sleeping nearly the whole night!