The bedtime ritual can be either incredibly easy and effortless or a battle with a relentless, excuse-laden and twisting foe (involving wrestling holds and a rock-solid exit policy).
Last night Elliott asked me to tell him a story, one I made up, but that helps him settle down and sleep – “The (Imaginary) Legend of Little Billy Tickles” (remind me to write it down sometime, it’s a pretty good story). Here\’s how the story went:
“Daddy, tell me about Little Billy Tickles.”
“Ok, let’s see. Not long ago there was a family, The Tickles, who lived in a quiet and peaceful forest deep in the wilderness. The Tickles were happy in their small cabin, surrounded by nature and animals. The Tickles had a little boy, named Billy. Billy loved his home, but he was bored…”
My voice trails off. Then I heard myself sort of mumble, but far off. “…and he had a bomb, but he left it in the house…”
Long pause as I gather what I had just uttered. I quickly open my eyes and see Elliott, wide-eyed, starring directly at me.
“Wait, whoa … uh, Elliott, did I … did I just say ‘and he had a bomb but he left it in the house’?”
(Head nodding slowly) “Yeaaah.”
“That’s what I thought. Sorry buddy. I was falling asleep. Little Billy Tickles didn’t have a bomb, Daddy’s crazy. So let’s start over”