Bedtime sequence

Daddy and Mama take turns putting me to bed, and they do it in different ways. It’s kind of interesting. For instance, they both give me a bath, but Daddy has music on while I’m in there, and Mama doesn’t. After the bath is over, they put a new diaper on me and also rub this greasy lotion stuff on my skin, which I’m not wild about. Mama puts me up on this table thing to do that stuff, but Daddy just lays me down on the floor.

There are lots of other differences, but the most fascinating one to me right now is that I have learned a particular sequence of stuff that Daddy always does after I’ve got my diaper and night clothes on. Here it is:

1. Turn down the music

2. Turn on the little light

3. Turn off the big light

4. Turn on the ocean

5. Pick up my Dante, and Benjamin, and James, and Softie.

6. We walk over to the couch.

7. You drink some water and I sing some songs.

8. You go in the crib!

Daddy always says this stuff is his favorite part of the night, because he gets to hold me and we cuddle on the couch. So whenever he was about to do it he would always say something like, “It’s time for the best part! You know how this works. First I turn down the music. Then I turn on the little light. Then I turn off the big light.” And so on.

One day I just decided to let him know I could remember the sequence, so I said the whole thing back to him. Using the numbers was my idea. Now, many times a night, I say: “One turn down the music. Two turn on the little light.” Et cetera. Basically, just read the list above out loud and that’s what I say to Daddy. He looked so surprised the first time I said it all to him. (I know this because Mama has taught me what a surprised face looks like. Remind me to show you mine sometime. I do a really good one.)

By the way, I should say about the ocean: I think there are different kinds of oceans. I have read books with fish and dolphins and stuff, and the dolphins are always living in the ocean. The books make it look like a really big bathtub or something. However, the ocean that Daddy turns on in step four is a little white rectangle with some buttons. When you turn it on it makes this kind of loud, rhythmic shushing sound. It can make other sounds, too — I’ve made it sound like a bird before — but when Daddy is only able to make it do the loud shushing.

Also, Benjamin and James are my bear friends, and Softie is the name of a blanket. Collectively they are called “the boys.” I sleep with all three of them. Bears make great pillows.

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