I'm not proud of that; really, I'm not. But a few years back I crossed my heart and promised to be the same mom before bed each night: happy mom. Sometimes I pretend to be a waitress. I drape a red cloth napkin over my arm and say, "Here's the water you ordered, Sir." They giggle and ask for another drink. I tell them, "We don't allow bed wetters in our restaurant, so we'd better not risk it."
Then we do "A Tickle and a Kiss." That's when I tickle them head to toe.
"Oops, I think you missed my little toe, Mom. And don't forget to skate figure eights around our eyes. That's the best part."
When they're satisfied with their tickle, I lean over and plant a wet one on each forehead. Sometimes I go crazy, kissing every inch of each face. "That's enough! That's too many kisses--gross," they say.
Then I settle underneath the doorway and read.
"Can we have a whole chapter tonight?" they ask.
I read until their breathing becomes synced with the ceiling fan whirring above our heads. They often drift into dreamland before I've finished two pages. I continue sitting, still reading. I know I can stop, but I read on. The story holds me still in time, quiet, secure, constant.
I finish a chapter, bunny ear the page, and lay the book next to the door. I tuck in their blankets, leaving their feet naked--the way they like it. I pass out another round of kisses and whisper, "Goodnight."
The REAL reason for this post was to say how much I LOVE the book pictured above. My kids can't wait to read it again tonight.