Last night Katherine and I were exhausted, thanks to more 5am wakeups from Peter. Both Jack and Peter had long, late naps. I put Peter to bed at 7:45 instead of his usual 7pm and he screamed protests the whole way. We played Lego Star Wars Wii with Jack until after 9pm, at which point both of us were about ready to drop.
“Will you tuck me in tonight, Jack?” Katherine asked. “Sure, momma!” he responded.
While Katherine and I languished in our own typical pre-bedtime email/Facebook/Internet routine, Jack scurried upstairs and changed into his pajamas by himself. By the time I came upstairs he was already brushing his own teeth. By the time Katherine came upstairs, he was waiting in our bedroom and I had crawled under the covers, already starting to fade. It was my classic once-a-month 9:30pm collapse, when my body shuts down while my mind protests.
Katherine climbed under the covers next to me and asked Jack to sing us a song and tell us a story. He chose his favorite song… The Imperial Death March theme. “But I have to start in the middle because that’s the part I know.” Who needs a lullaby? Then he told a story too, but I honestly don’t remember it, as my body continued to shut down.
“You’re going to have to go tuck him in,” Katherine warned me. I was almost delirious at this point and I basically said “let’s see if he can do it.” She said “He’ll just play with Legos and not go to sleep.” Jack promised he wouldn’t, so Katherine sternly told him to go into his room and tuck himself in after turning off all the lights, and he agreed.
As I faded into unconsciousness, we could hear him half-singing, half-chanting to himself those final reminders: “Don’t play with the Legos… turn the lights off. Don’t play with the Legos… turn the lights off. Don’t play with the Legos…” We thought we heard the lights click off and him climbing into bed. Katherine got up briefly to turn off our lights and close the door, and make sure he was doing okay.
About 45 minutes later I woke up just enough to go to the bathroom. I peeked in and he was asleep in the middle of his bed, surrounded by his stuffed animals and covers, with only his moon night light on (which I turned off.)
For once, a successful bedtime story!