I kneel down on her floor and she wraps her arms around my neck. Her skin smells of lavender and the ends of her hair are wet. I squeeze and she squeezes back.
“Ok, now. If you stay quiet after Daddy tucks you in and go right to sleep…”
“You’ll come in and tuck me in again and sing our song!?!”
“Yes.” I say with a smile. “Exactly.”
She smiles and bounces as I kiss her head before leaving her room.
Twenty minutes later, Daddy is downstairs and I am on my way back up. I open her door and walk into her dimly lit room. Her head pops up as I walk over to her bed.
“Can you sing the raindrop song?” she asks.
“Of course.” I settle in next to her and she wraps her arm around my neck again.
“If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops…” I sing and now, after a week of this new routine, she sings along.
“Oh what a world that would be.”
We finish singing and she asks to sing it again.
I indulge her. I’m getting better at indulging her. We sing again.
I give her a kiss and another squeeze. She squeezes back. And after that, she is quiet. She sleeps.
This routine is new for us. The second tuck in, the singing. It was born out of a seriously flawed bedtime ritual (because any ritual that takes nearly 2 hours and half a dozen trips up and down the stairs is seriously flawed). It was also born out of a desire to start making the changes that are coming well before this little man arrives so that she wishes him no ill will for taking Mommy or Daddy away from her at bedtime.
So far, it seems to be working.