"Buddy, you have got to go to sleep."
We are still trying to transition Roo to the "big boy" bed, out of the crib. He still loves it--has started to ask for it, even--but he will still lay awake in it for HOURS after we put him to bed. My tolerance level is generally somewhere between 1 and 2 hours (checking on him--and putting him BACK into bed--several times in that span) before I give up and put him in his crib (where he drifts off almost immediately).
It was not the first time that night I had been in there to tell him to go to bed. It was not even the second or the third. I was ready to move him to the crib, but when I had picked him up (out of the pile of books that he had dumped on the floor), he had pointed to the lower bunk and said, "Bed? Mommy, bed?" I couldn't refuse.
"Night-night." (I may have gritted my teeth just a little.)
"Mommy?" He sat up.
"Buddy, please lay down and go to sleep. Night-night."
"Mommy? Night-night, love you?"
My heart skipped a beat. Every time I put Roo to bed, I walk to the door and say, "Night-night, Roo. Love you." But this time I didn't. I had forgotten the "love you."
"Yes, Sweetie. Night-night. I love you."
He laid down with his hands behind his head, his ultimate pose of relaxation.
He was just checking.