Ivie's bedtime routine is pretty set in stone these days. While I'm nursing Macie, Dale gives Ivie her bath and gets her dressed in her pj's. Then they both come give Macie and me a goodnight kiss, and head back to Ivie's room for 2 books in the rocking chair. Then Ivie turns off her lamp, crawls in bed, and asks Dale to hold her hand. Dale does, for "one minute" (that is actually more like 5), and then, most nights, she will say, "Good night, Daddy" and let him leave the room without her getting upset.
Tonight was thrown off a bit. I got Macie to bed a bit early, and Ivie was being rambunctious, so I thought I'd try to help calm her down by going into her room while Dale was putting on her pj's. Dale immediately called my move "a fatal mistake," guessing that Ivie would then want me to hang around for the rest of the bedtime routine. He was right. After she was dressed, she said, "Mommy, you sit there" and pointed to the ottoman.
Trying to get out of the room and avoid the later chaos of Dale and I both trying to leave, I tried an "out". I said to Ivie, "Ivie, I'm going to go check on Macie, okay? Go read books with Daddy." Ivie promptly responded with "I go with you, Mommy!" and headed to Macie's door. Since that clearly was a BAD idea, as Macie was, by now, sound asleep, I redirected Ivie back into her room and agreed to sit and listen to one book.
Dale read "Fun on the Farm" and flipped through the 2008 UNC Cheerleaders' Calendar (looking for pictures of Rameses the mascot, of course). Since Ivie was agreeable to then turning off her lamp and crawling into bed, I decided to go ahead and stick it out, hoping it wouldn't turn in to a 10-minute hand-holding session, followed by cries and tears when Dale and I insisted on going to bed ourselves.
Of course Ivie wanted to hold both of our hands as she settled onto her pillow and Disney Princess sleeping bag. After finding her "puppy" and "bunny" and getting one last drink from her water bottle, Ivie closed her eyes.
The 10-minute hand-holding session never materialized. In fact, it didn't even last a minute. She must have remembered my feeble attempt to leave her room 10 minutes earlier. Because after about 30 seconds of holding my hand, Ivie looked up at me and said, "Go check on Macie, Mommy."
It doesn't get much sweeter than that. Ivie's already a GREAT big sister.