Since the combined disruption of her birthday weekend and daylight savings time, we haven't recovered our fragile bedtime schedule. Lately, we have an hour of shrewd stalling, during which she:
• Gives up a whole day of saved poop in one diaper/potty hybrid blowout that involves elaborate clean-up and praise. We are held hostage by her crap. Someone call Freud.
• Throws fits and melodramas around which creature/book/parent/lighting scheme will be part of bedtime process. It's like hotel staff dealing with J-Lo. Someone call her manager.
• Is disarmingly sweet, wanting a smooch from Dad or "Mama, you forgot to tickle my arm. I miss you." There's no one to call. We're suckered.
The other night, I was in our bedroom with the door open and I could hear the faint strains of singing and activity coming from her room, then finally the loud clapping of plastic on plastic. I walked into the hall to find her dancing, singing (in a whisper), and wearing EVERY ITEM OF DRESS-UP CLOTHING SHE OWNS, including high-heeled plastic mules on her feet AND HANDS. I watched her for two seconds, then she saw me. And began solemnly, silently — quickly — taking off the satin cape, sequined beanie hat/tube top, plastic shoes, and tutu. She crawled into bed and sucked her thumb and said, "Good night, Mom. I'm done now."