Putting Nora to bed is one of my favorite jobs. It takes a long time, but that's mostly because we snuggle up on the chair reading stories, and after I've rocked her to sleep, I usually hang out in the chair reading, pausing occasionally to sniff her hair or kiss her cheek. Sometimes I doze off. It's not terrible, is what I'm saying.
The best part, however, is the way she talks and talks and talks to me about her day while I'm rocking her to sleep. She usually talks for a while, then snuggles her head on my chest only to pop up a few minutes later with important, key observations. One time, I thought she was almost asleep when she suddenly sat up and said, "Hair. Hair right there," while patting her head. And then my head. And then she said, "Head! Head right there! Head right there! Head right there!" for both our heads. She wouldn't stop saying it until I agreed that, indeed, our hair and heads were right there. When she heard Andrew and Jack in the dining room, we had to verbally confirm that THEIR heads were right there as well. Once satisfied that everyone's heads were right there, she put hers back down and went to sleep.
One time she was so tired, she literally fell over asleep right in the middle of telling me about how we had chicken for dinner. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what she was telling me. I have to use a lot of context clues to fill in the conversation with Nora since doesn't yet have the vocabulary to say all the things she needs to say. So what I think was probably, "We had fried chicken tonight and I like fried chicken it's yummy," came out as "Welf smuh fnuh shmliek wud ah chick-un....zzzzzzzzz."
Once the lights are out, we usually have to say "Good night" to a lot of things too: The moon, the room, the balloon, the cow jumping over the moon, Jack, Daddy, Jack and Daddy again, Dude (also Daddy), Gorilla, Dear (because the zookeeper's wife says, "Goodnight, dear" a few times in Goodnight, Gorilla), Bed, Jack, and Daddy. And Nora, sometimes. Have you ever heard a toddler chanting a litany of "Good-nights"? It's so fun.
But one of my absolute favorite parts is what she does when we say the Guardian Angel prayer. Long-time readers may remember Jack's story about the Guardian Angel prayer, but for Nora's you'll have to bear with me as I give you some background information. You see, there is a song we've learned at music class that goes,
I had a little frog
his name was Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim
He drank up all the water
He ate up all the soap
And then he BURPED last night
From a bubble in his throat!
This song has hand motions that go with it, and there are three verses. In one verse, the frog is big and is named "Jumbo Jim," so you sing it with a deep voice. And now, whenever I say the Guardian Angel prayer, she sits right up and does the hand motions for "Tiny Tim" while babbling along, in rhythm, in a deep voice. I would never have noticed the rhythmic similarity between the song and the prayer without Nora, believe me.
She took her own arm out through the neck hole, there. Oh, Nora. I love you so much.