Whenever I put her to bed, Betty and I follow pretty much the same routine.
First, she has a bath. Then, she brushes her teeth. She finds Jennifer and tells her goodnight. Finally we read three books.
Lately, Betty has been insisting to read at least one of her books herself. This consists of her turning the pages, running her finger along the words, and saying, “Hmmm,” to herself and nodding. It’s incredibly cute, so she’s gotten away with it for the past couple of nights. Plus, it’s always been her “Lift-a-Flap” Elmo book, which I have a hard time making it through anyway. Usually by Betty’s bedtime I’m incredibly sleepy. I usually go with an easy book she can read along with me and a slightly more challenging one to finish it off.
Then comes the part that I love. I turn off the light and Betty will stop me before I leave. It usually goes something like this:
Me: What is it?
Betty: Um…you gotta go in the picture and see the squirrel.
Me: What am I going to do when I see the squirrel?
Betty: You’re going to touch his hand and give him a lollipop.
Me: Okay, I’ll go into the picture, see the squirrel, touch his hand, and give him a lollipop. Goodnight!
Me: What is it Betty?
Betty: You gotta climb the tree and tickle the elephant with a horse.
Me: Okay, I’ll climb the tree and tickle the elephant with the horse. Night night!
Betty: No! Wait!
Me: I love you, goodnight!
Betty: (muffled by the closing door) Wait!
(a few moments of silence)
Betty: Hello, Elephant!
Some of my friends stay with their children until they fall asleep. I’ve pretty much learned that if I tried that, I fall asleep before she does. Then I’d never get out of there.
And yes, when I leave I imagine doing all of the things I’ve promised to do. It’s only fair.