I don’t normally put Grace to bed.
For the first year of her life, I put her to bed every single night, without fail. But when her second summer came around, I wanted some quiet time to myself, and Joe graciously agreed to do the bedtime routine with her.
Stop snorting. He agreed, okay?
In the year since, Joe has grown to love his bedtime cuddling with Gracie. He’s very protective of that time.
Once in a while, Grace gets ornery and draws bedtime out for two hours. Or she gets ornery and demands her Momma. Or her parents do a less than stellar job of preparing her to go to sleep.
Such was the case this evening.
Tonight, Grace went to bed twice.
The first time Grace went to bed, she seemed tired. Exhausted, in fact.
We’d given her a bath (through which she screamed and cried, more on that another day), and then she watched The Wonder Pets, drank some milk, and went to bed.
Joe rocked her for ninety minutes.
Ninety minutes is a long time.
She gabbed the whole ninety mintues.
Poor Joe is tenacious. He kept sitting and rocking.
Grace is tenacious, too. She kept talking.
Finally, I went upstairs and rescued him. I asked if she wanted to watch another episode of the Pets, and she jumped at the chance. We played for an hour, watched a little more tv, and then tried the bedtime again.
Momma’s turn, she said when Joe told her it was time to go to bed.
Joe and I looked at each other. I’m sure he was cheering inside, but he kept a straight face.
Okay, Baby. Let’s go. I put my hand on her back and directed her up the stairs. We got settled in her big rocking chair, and I patted her back.
How do you think your Daddy and I got the best Baby in the whole world? I asked her.
The best one? Momma’s favorite? She repeated.
My favorite. The best baby out of all the babies in the whole world. That was lucky, wasn’t it?
Lucky, she repeated.
That was the end of our conversation, and we rocked quietly after that.
It was dark, so I can’t be sure, but I think she was smiling when she fell asleep.
© 2009, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.