I may need to put an 'artificial sweetener' warning on this one as I think there may be saccharine ahead; if not much trouble. There's certainly moonlight and love.
In the endless chess match in which the goal is to check-mate our toddler into sleep, we have a few new moves. Firstly, since being allowed to nap on the sofa at my parent's house, he is obsessed with sleeping on sofas which I may have mentioned before. So, every night he goes to sleep on the sofa in his bedroom and every afternoon we have to cuddle on the livingroom sofa until he's out.
The sofa however is not enough anymore and the most recent item required to get him to sleep is his little train torch, a gift from Uncle Hoto and Auntie Shelley which has five buttons on it. One is for the torch, the rest make train sounds; so he lies on the sofa flashing his torch around the room like a little particle train making endless 'toot toot' and 'chuffachuffachuffa' noises until finally he drifts off.
Along with this (his 'white light') he also normally wants his 'blue light' which is a very cool, rubbery nightlight from Ikea which one charges up and then unplugs to stand alone.
Finally, however, he wants Dr. Seuss, and this is where you may want to flush your pancreas.
We have several Dr. Seuss books on record; and by record, I mean the vinyl records that my brother and I had when we were Charlie's age. We divided them up when we left home and one of the ones I have is The Sleep Book. I just love that he goes to sleep listening to the same record I used to listen to, it gives me some sense of continuity which having moved a lot and jettisoned most of my possessions over time, I rather lack.
Firstly, he asks for the 'music book' and we have to read along in the paper version. This takes quite a while and if I try to actually read out loud along with the record, he casually reaches out a hand and puts it gently across my mouth with no comment. Clearly my job is simply to turn the pages and shut the hell up. I am occasionally allowed to point out something of interest ("Look, he's snoring in a bucket!")
Then, clutching his blue light, his white light and either Monkey, Maisie Mouse or Thomas the Tank Engine plus his bottle of milk, (which he won't drink, he'll just cuddle all night), he allows me to cover him up with a blanket, adjust his pillow and kiss him goodnight before I put the record on again. I then leave my little mounded offspring, smelling faintly of soap and milk and moving gently under his blankets as he checks his various possessions. I close the door behind me and then, bar the sound of the narrator, there is silence.
I know, silence! When there's no Doctor Seuss on the record player we have endless tooting and parping and laughing (his blue light has a rubbery hole in the back where the charger goes and you have no idea how much one toddler can laugh over 'Stick finger up its bum, Mummy!'). With Dr. Seuss, however, the only sound we may hear out of him is the request for "Again! Again!"
Bliss. Absolute bliss.