"Mommy, I need to put my blankets on by myself," the little calls from his room. As I lay my computer down, I push myself off of my bed back into a standing position. Then cross the hallway to the little man's room.
"Do you want me to cover you up? Or do you want to do it yourself?" I ask, not sure if he knows what he is saying. The lights are out, but with the nightlight I can see his teeth gleaming in a smile.
"You do it," he answers, laying his legs out flat and raising his arms to keep them on top of his blankets.
"Do you want the white blanket first or the gray one?"
"Um...the white one," he says. "I want a song," he adds before I can slip off again. He is still smiling and looking quite a ways from falling off to sleep.
I start in with "The Wheels On the Bus". He is grinning, but not making the motions like he does most nights, maybe he is sleepy. I keep singing, low and soft. By the time I get to the windows verse he is closing his eyes in long blinks. Then as the verse with the baby crying comes up, he opens his eyes wide again, as if renewed by the idea of a screaming baby on a bus.
"The mamas on the bus sing, shhhh-shhhh-shhhh..." I whisper sing now in hopes of lulling him toward sleep. His big smile fades a bit to a grin by the time the verse is over. I close with the wheels all through the town and he is satisfied with the song.
"Good night, buddy. I love you," I whisper to him with one more kiss.
"Good night, Mommy," he whispers back, slowly enough I know he will stay in bed this time.