I was sitting with E in her room before bedtime. I was rocking a little, and she was in my lap, drinking her milk. She reached up and brushed my face with her hand, something she's done since infancy. It's the most tender gesture, and I'm not sure it's at all conscious. Back behind her, where she can't see, is Mama still there, or is she alone in the dark?
Her impish tendencies are not first-generation. It's the most tender gesture, and I had an instinct to tease her a little. So I nibbled her finger.
Her: Mama! Don't EAT. MY. FINGERS!
Me (feigning obliviousness to her irritation): But I'm hungry! I needed a snack!
Me (persisting): Can I have a snack of elbow? How about knee?
She loves this game. And we haven't played it in a while.
Her: (invisible-pinches her knee, and shoves 'knee' in my face) Eat my knee, Mama!
Me: Oooh, that knee was good!
Her (adding a new twist to the game, grabbing my chin): I eat you!! I need a snack, too!! Your face is YUUUMMMMMYYYY!!
Yes, I'm very, very good at creating and maintaining a quiet, calm environment for bedtime. No riling up here, no sir.
Me: I'm yummy? What do I taste like?
Her: GUMMY BEARS!!!!