The no-Daddy routine goes: L's dinner, L's diaper and pajamas, E to couch for special treat cartoons (thank you, Noggin, for your steady stream of Dora and Diego in the 7:00 hour), L upstairs for one last feeding and sleep. Once L is asleep, E's TV goes off, E's dinner, E's bedtime routine. It's a science. It's a big, clunking, clanking, bumpy science that whose rules dictate I don't change out of my work clothes or eat until sometime after 9, but it's a science.
The with-Daddy routine goes: L's dinner, discussion regarding which parent takes L upstairs and which plays with E, with all subsequent decisions based on that first one - which parent is on which floor with which child. So that discussion is critical; it lays the foundation for the entire evening.
But it was a night of no-Daddy routine. E loves to be a helper, and especially so when it's just the girls. She picked L's bib for dinner, and got her diaper for her last change of the night. I was going to go into auto-pilot and establish E on the couch so I could take L upstairs, but E wanted to follow the with-Daddy transcript. She's heard M's words many times before, and she repeated them nearly verbatim:
Should we make a bottle? Or are you going to go upstairs and boob her?