"Tell me a story."
This is a request I have for my husband every night before I fall asleep. The best he's come up with is There once was a princess named Natasha who never wanted to go to sleep…
Actually, that's not true. I love sleep, especially when it's raining hard outside like it did last night but I also have this ingrained childhood habit to stall bedtime. Another story, another round of kisses, a pee break followed by a glass of water, I can't sleep without this disruptive ritual. My two-year-old niece is going to love hanging out with me.
My husband, on the other hand, plays dead. I know he can hear me. I still have his earplugs in my hand. I'm a professional. Don't mess with me.
"It's sleepy time," he mumbles.
"Hon, does my right breast look larger than the left?"
"No," he muffles through the pillow without looking up. Six years of marriage, been there and seen that.
"Did you lock the door?"
"Are you mad at me?"
"Is there a full moon tonight?"
One day he'll tell me a lofty tale about computer operating systems or intracellular endosomal trafficking and realise it is the only weapon he needs for a good night sleep. I'm pretty sure that could kill me. In the meantime I have managed to irritate him. Can't go to sleep angry. What would my niece do?
"I just wanted to know…. what would you like for Christmas?"
He chuckles. He rolls over.
Until tomorrow old man. Until tomorrow.