Each night, we have the same bedtime routine. Esther has a bath, we brush her teeth, she gets into bed, and I read her the same two books (I'm hoping this part of the routine will change at some point, but for now we're all about Ingrid). Then we turn off the light, and turn on the "night music", a lovely CD of lullabies. Esther excitedly asks for Blinka Blinka (Twinkle Twinkle - the song is in English but she uses the Swedish name) and "Rainboo" (Somewhere Over the Rainbow), which are the first songs on the disc.
At this point, there's some variation in the script. If she's feeling particularly tired and grumpy, she wants me to stay and lie next to her until she falls asleep. This normally takes ten to fifteen minutes. If she's in a good mood, I'm allowed to go away, and I'll sit at my computer while she lies in bed. Either way, I get to listen to her singing herself to sleep, accompanying the lullabies.
And the singing is lovely. She tends to combine songs, invent new ones, add names of favourite people or nice new words ("Tjoho! being a recent one, essentially a Swedish Yippee!, and not a word that you expect to hear sung in a dark bedroom). She will sing about favourite TV characters - "Iggle Piggle Iggle Piggle Postman Paaaaaaat!" - or just count out loud: "One two three four five six SEVEN!!!".
Today, we went to a birthday party - the third this month. She's developed a bit of a fascination with the whole birthday concept, and is most intrigued by the cake and the presents and the people who attend the parties. She will talk about them in advance, quizzing me as to exactly who will and won't be there. "And grandma?" "No." "And [grandma's dog] Gabby?" "No." "And [grandma's other dog] Cleo?" "No." Etc etc etc.
The birthday song has also become very popular. However, being that she and her friends are January babies, New Year's Day still lingers on in her mind (Not that we did anything special, other than wake up the next day and teach her to say "Happy New Year!"). So as often as not, Happy Birthday turns into a very heartfelt Happy New Year. And as I mentioned in the last post, she has also become slightly obsessed with My Bonnie Is Over the Ocean. She calls it Bring Back, and will listen to it over and over, earnestly singing along: "Bring back, bring back, bring back back back to me, to me!"
And when you combine the three, you get the title of today's post. And after a hearty dinner of lasagna and oven-roasted broccoli followed by lemon yoghurt, Esther had her bath, she had her Ingrid, and then she sang herself to sleep. Using that very phrase. Only it had been a long day, with parties and trampolines and lots of excitement, so she was very tired and needed a little company. But I can honestly say that I didn't mind. Not even a little.