Molly: (overly tired, crying in her bed)
Hank: (in bed, asleep, wearing ear plugs and a sleep mask because no one ever called him dumb, not one day)
Me: Hey now, hey now, little darlin’. What is it we say every night? No more crying, time for sleeping.
Me: (kneeling by her bed) Hush now, little chicken. What has you so upset?
Molly: (in between tears) I… Don’t… Want… Go to bed!
Me: I know, lovie. It’s hard to stop the day, but it’s time for dreaming.
Molly: No. (tears streaming down her cheeks)
Me: Instead of crying let’s play a little game, shall we? (laying my head on her chest) You be Totoro and I will be May.
Molly: (wants to stop crying, but doesn’t want to give up the fight)
Me: Who are you?
Me: And this is where you say (whisper roar), “To-To-ROOOOO!”
Me: (pretending to be a three year old girl) Are you a Totoro?
Molly: (giggling, nodding)
Me: And then I lay on your big belly, because I am suddenly very, very tired and we go to sleep. (laying my head back down on her chest)
Molly: Mama, sleep with me?
Me: I can’t sleep with you, MaGoo! Your bed is much too small for me, but your bed is just right for you. I sleep just across the hall. I am always here.
Molly: Oh! (hand to her ears) I all wet!
Me: (brushing tears from her face) You cried an ocean of tears into your ears, silly chicken.
Molly: Ocean in my ears?
Me: Tears are salty like the sea.
Molly: (serious) Ocean in my ears?!
Me: Yes, and now that it is time for sleeping, why don’t we imagine that you have a real ocean inside your ears full of…
Me: Yes and coral and sea weed and…
Me: Yes and what else?
Molly: And… um… And paper boats! Papa make paper boats? Paper boats for my ocean?
Me: Of course! Your papa always makes the paper boats and we will sail them on the ocean of tears in your ears.
Molly: Papa make paper boats and mama makes flowers.
Me: I do, don’t I?
Molly: Yah, mama makes flowers and papa boats and Mano (brother) is my best friend. (eyes getting heavy)
Me: Sounds perfect.
Molly: Yah. I all better. I on a paper boat. On a paper boat in my ear in ocean in my ear.
Me: (whispering) What a perfect place to be! (smiling while combing her hair from her eyes until soon she drifts off to sleep)