Since losing the binky, we now have a complex system for putting the 2 1/2 year old to sleep.
Here's how it goes:
We set a goal. Get her to bed by 9, she'll be asleep by 9:30. That means the process needs to start at 8:45.
1. She chooses two books. One is for each parent to read. She also delegates the reading. Usually, I get stuck with this horrible "Magical Moments Look and Find" book, where she finds things belonging to Princesses in a "where's Waldo" type setting. She has memorized where everything is. So....it's not really look and find. But she feels a great sense of accomplishment when she points at stuff.
2. Hubby's turn. He usually gets a narrative type book. Favorites include "Elmo's Counting Game", "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight", and Hubby's favorite "The Monster at the End of This Book."
(I usually hope she'll pick a Richard Scary).
3. We walk to bed carrying the blanket of her choice (she is VERY specific about blankets each night), also possible are her Minnie Mouse doll and possibly a sippy cup.
4. We stop at the potty, which inevitably involves prying her off of the sink.
5. One of us puts her in the bed. She asks us to "put my blanket on".
6. I sit next to the bed and read, YES, a THIRD BOOK. This one has to be short. It's usually "Grover's Guide to Good Manners" or "Special Pet".
7. I fimly say that is the last book as she requests others. She says, "Rock you mommy?" and I say, "No, I don't have time to rock you tonight hun." She is disappointed and shows it. I give her a book to hold in bed and she protests it (but if I don't she'll ask me for one later). I turn music on, and her "small" light.
8. I leave the room and listen to her pretend to read books and/or sing along with the music until she passes out.
9. I go crazy, imagining all the things I can do with this childless hour! Then I pass out from exhaustion.