If you follow Braeden's blog, you know Dog is the build-a-bear dog Me-Ma and P-Pa gave Braeden for Christmas. He's very supportively dressed in a Giants fleece and is as soft as can be. Braeden loves Dog and has to sleep with him every night.
Before we put Braeden in the crib, Mat and I lie down on the floor with him (in the dark) and go through the list of people he loves. Sometimes we'll prompt him with a name or two, and sometimes he just starts listing everyone he knows...all the kids at day care, some of the caregivers, all of his family, and my friends (Emmy, Lisa, Kiki). He ALWAYS starts with Mommy which thrills me to no end, and he usually includes Christmas on the list. Then after he says Christmas, he says away and checks with me to be sure I agree that we put Christmas away. He's very earnest, and I find it so sweet.
Once we finish the list, we tell him it's time to get into bed. (Mat insists we call it bed not crib because beds are for big boys!) That's when Dog, Pig, and Elmo have to get into bed too. We get kisses and hugs, then put him down for the night. I always arrange the Elmo in the corner of the crib by his head and then put Dog and Pig along the side near his feet. I'm concerned (or obsessed, as Mat would say) with him not having stuffed animals too close to his face. As soon as we start to leave the room, Braeden moves Dog and Pig right up next to his face. Sometimes I'll go back over to him and move them back, but I know he just waits till I close the door to move them up again. I move them back down again when I check on him later, but when I go up in the morning, they're back by his face again.
The only other part of our nighttime ritual is that Braeden has to be the one to turn on his humidifier ('fier) and he gives Mat and I each a stuffed animal to hold while we're lying on the floor. Mat always gets Elmo (and complains bitterly about it), and Braeden decides which I'll get that night, Dog or Pig, and keeps the other for himself. And that's our nighttime ritual.