I have always wanted to write a children’s book. A year ago, my three year old son started stalling every night before I tucked him into bed with tons of questions and requests. Like every typical three year old, he never wanted to go to bed. I’m thirsty… Can I go potty?… It’s too dark… Where is my fuzzy blanket?
I gave in to most of his requests, but when the questions started getting drawn out, I wrapped him up in his blanket and said, “It’s really late. Everyone is sleeping…even Bailey (our dog).”
“Even the snails?” he continued.
“Yes, even the snails,” I replied.
“Mommy, where do snails sleep?”
This marked the beginning of our son’s nightly animals-sleep-habit questioning session. He asked about a different animal every night we tucked him into bed. “Where does the bald eagle sleep? Does a bald eagle sleep in a big nest? Does a hummingbird sleep in a small nest?”
He was curious about very specific animals, and didn’t want to go to bed unless he knew they were sleeping too. “Is the boa constrictor sleeping?” “Where does the blue oyster sleep?”
A few weeks into our nightly routine, I told my husband I wanted to make a book of our son’s sleeping animals. I thought it would be nice to show our son a drawing of the two humped camel sleeping next to a sand dune instead on trying to explain what a sand dune was to a three year old at bedtime.
I started this book a year ago and it is almost complete. It’s hard to squeeze out time during the day so I work on it mostly at night when the kids and the two humped camels are sleeping. I am putting pressure on myself to finish this book because our son is now a year older and his animals-sleep-habit questions are dwindling from nightly to once or twice a week.
My five year old daughter was really excited when I told her about the book. She helped me with some of the illustrations while my son supplied the animals. All but two of the animals in the book are actual animals my son asked about. My daughter asked me to include two of her favorite animals in the book as well. If you knew my daughter, it would be obvious which two were her requests.
This is my first children’s book. I had a wonderful time bringing my children’s bedtime thoughts to life. The best part of this endeavor is that my children think I am their hero, or as my daughter would put it, “Mommy, you are an artist!”