A bottle of warm milk, 2-3 stories (or 5 or 10 depending on how energetic Moppet is feeling), a goodnight kiss and hug (or 5 or 10 depending on how mushy Mama is feeling), and then the lights are turned off. I lie down next to Moppet and sing to her as she scrabbles around on the bed like a puppy trying to find a comfortable spot to sleep in, until the activity slowly ceases and I know she's asleep.
This has been our bedtime routine for at least 4 months now. The entire thing takes about an hour and it's one of my favourite times of the day. I particularly enjoy lying next to her in the dark, holding her warm little hand in mine, and softly singing whatever song pops into my head.
So every night, Moppet is subjected to my renditions of assorted hymns, hindi film songs, mallu film songs, old classics, cartoon songs, even the odd christmas carol and corrupted bits and pieces of the only french song that I remember.
Now, I have no illusions about my vocal abilities (just ask my unfortunate music teacher) but I truly did believe that my baby enjoyed my daily performance as much as I did.
Tonight she seemed to be taking longer than usual to fall asleep. She tossed and turned. Sat up for a little bit. Smooshed her face into the pillow and waved her butt in the air. Nothing seemed to be working. Every time she lay still for a little while and I got up to leave, still singing softly, she would sit up and call me back before I reached the door.
Finally after almost an hour of non-stop singing and humming, I was so hoarse that I had to stop. Moppet stopped her butt waving and popped her head up to investigate the sudden lack of croaking on my part. Having assured herself that I was still around, she patted my face gently and then with a sigh of relief, lay down and was asleep in 10 seconds!
Apparently it was my singing that was keeping her awake. Hummmph! So it has been decided - from now on all my future musical endeavours will be enjoyed by the non-judgemental, plastic ears of my shower caddy ONLY.