"Did you guys get your room cleaned up? No book before bed if you don't get it done."
Sophia comes to the top of the stairs and holds her hand out, as if to stop Dave from coming upstairs too soon. "No worries!" She tells him, "Just a few more toys and we're done."
In the background, Dave can see Ella zipping back and forth, desparately trying to pick up all the toys they should have picked up instead of playing Barbie after putting pajamas on.
Dave found the whole bedtime struggle funny. Good. Because night after night of it had run my patience down.
And sometimes, if I'm being honest, it makes me a little jealous when he can swoop in and they listen to him...or when they don't listen he has the ability to ignore the attention-seeking naughtiness.
I think this is probably why it was I got so much enjoyment when the girls double-teamed him.
Sophia had done something time-out worthy. Instead of heading to time-out as told, she took off running through the house. Dave lunged for her to grab her and missed. Soon he is chasing her around the partition between our living room and kitchen. As Sophia outpaces him as they run in a circle, I suddenly hear Ella let out a delighted shriek and shout,
RUN, SISTER, RUN!!!
I pressed my body and face into the cupboards and shook silently with laughter. If Dave and his mounting anger saw me laugh, I might end up in time-out, too. And if Sophia saw me laughing, it would only undermine Dave.
He finally caught up with the blonde sprinting sprite and set her in time-out and came into the kitchen where I stood, by this time, completely in control of my laughter.
He gave me big eyes that said "God, can you believe that?"
Yes. Yes, I could. And I thoroughly and completely enjoyed it.