1) She snorts herself awake in the Happy Chair, stumbles into the kitchen to set up the coffee pot for he next day, and then carefully fetches our evening medicines. (An anti-anxiety pill for me, more pills than I can count for her.)
2) One last trip outside to wee on the front bushes while a pajama-clad Mo-ther keeps her eyes peeled for coyotes. Or stray cats. Or raccoons. (I'm not a big fan.)
3) All of the various and sundry lights get turned off, the doors are checked (and re-checked and then re-checked again), and the back patio light is illuminated. (And anything else that happens to be hanging upside down from the bird feeder.) (Like an opossum.) (Again, not a fan.)
4) Mo-ther falls into the bed with an "I love this bed", while I frantically search through my toy box for the eight or nine stuffed toys that I require for a little pre-snoozing snuggle time.
5) Futzing, futzing, futzing.
6) Rather loud and grumpy hollering, as my 700-pound gorilla of a mo-ther leans over the side of the bed to pick me up, but discovers that I am standing about 1/64th of an inch past the tips of her fingertips, and as soon as she makes physical contact, I take one tiny little baby step back so that she is forced to haul herself back up into the bed, throw off the bedclothes in disgust, holler some more, and then get out of the bed to pick me up and toss me into the middle of the pile of bedclothes, stuffed toys, and whatever else I can think of to annoy the living hell out of her as she tries to create a peaceful sleeping evnvironment.
7) Futzing, futzing, futzing.
8) Finally, when I hear the first snore and I see that the book she was reading has dropped to the pillow, I tippy-toe up to her face, measure her breathing for a few moments, and then give her a big wet kiss on the nose as I dive under the covers.
9) The moment I plop myself down next to her, the old lady says "Night, night my little price. Mommie loves you. Have good sweet puppy dreams and I'll see you in the morning." (She's said this particular phrase for as long as I can remember, and if she somehow forgets it, I kick her in the shins until she wakes up enough to mutter it, if only somewhat incoherently.)
So in the spirit of good night nights, I am donating all of my pocket money this month to the following organization. It is, I believe, one of the coolest ideas I've heard yet: