As the little man has aged, our bed time routines have become, for lack of a better word, routine. Sure he's still got us wrapped around his finger, but now we anticipate the extra trip to the potty, the extra glass of water and put a cap on the number of stories somewhere around 5 (although 5 dozen fits this rule). Usually after Mommy reads from this vast library, Daddy has to "sit two minutes". It's not quite the penalty box found in your standard hockey game, but pretty darn close. I sit on the end of his bed until the requisite time is up, although in toddler time two minutes often extends beyond a five minute major.
To cap off bedtime is his innumerable menagerie, beasts which co-exist in remarkable ways. A lion, some bears, a penguin, an alligator, a gorilla, a gruffalo. I'm pretty sure there's tiger and some dogs, an octopus, and a giraffe. And of course we can't forget the various forms of juvenile sheep.
Who can blame the little guy. If his animal friends keep him company (and better yet asleep) then where's the harm. I've only started taking a bit more notice as I'm repeatedly waking with one or two members of this personal zoo blocking my airway. He's taken to a nocturnal prowl that ends with him creeping into our bed with as much of the wild kingdom as he can cram in his surprisingly encompassing toddler grasp. And this week I've started to have a bigger problem with the recent additions to his nighttime cuddle buddies. Last night it was Francesco Bernoulli and this evening it is a mobile phone.
I don't mind the characters, but my ribs miss the forgiving lambs of nights past.