M and I were talking in E's room, making a grocery list, as I changed E's diaper and got her into her pajamas. M's plan was to head out to the store while I got E to sleep. We had our list completed, but E hasn't been eating much of the food we've been sending with her to school lately, so I asked her if she wanted Daddy to get anything in particular. "Get red grapes and lellow peppers and ornj peppers and red apples and brown pears and red mango, Dada!" "Um, okay," he said, taking notes, and off he went.
7:30 pm. L is nursed to sleep, and with no ceremony required, placed gently in her crib.
8:30 pm. E needs "everybody" tucked in before her turn comes. "Tuck Everybody IN, Mama!" So picture me patting plush tushies as I say "Goodnight bear, goodnight big elephant, goodnight blue elephant, goodnight tiger" before I pull baby doll's gingham blanket over her shapeless, unbleached muslin shoulders. "Goodnight baby doll." I pull E's big fleece blanket over bear, big and blue elephants, tiger, baby doll's gingham, and finally over my own daughter's expectant form. Two pats on the only living tushie in that menagerie, and "Goodnight, E, my love. I'll see you in the morning."
4:03 am. Another of E's vivid dreams wakes her. She's crying for me, inconsolable. I go in quietly, hoping to get her back to sleep quickly, but she hurls herself into my arms. "Mama, I don't WANNA FOLD CLOTHES!" "Sweetie, it's okay, it was just a dream, you don't have to fold any clothes." "I don't wanna I don't wanna!" "It's okay, love, no more folding clothes." (For the record, when we do laundry, I have never asked her to fold clothes. Have you seen how tidily a two-year-old can fold a shirt, or how it can take eight minutes? Her job is to match her rainbow of socks, while I fold the clothes.)
4:14 am. I have to convince E to return to her crib because L is awake and crying. This, I suppose, is nothing to complain about, because she slept more than eight hours and isn't even four months old. But this is the second night in a row that E woke from a dream and L woke hungry, both in the 4 o'clock hour. I have to figure out how to break this little cycle before I return to work next week.
6:42 am. Heard through the monitor: "Mama, mama! I woke UP! And I tucked everybody OUT!"