Last night was perfectly normal in most ways. Charles was out of town, so it was just me and Drew, but otherwise, no huge differences from our daily after-work routine.
We got home about 6 p.m. I let our greyhound Simon out into the backyard to run and, you know, do his stuff. I popped a DiGiorno's spinach and mushroom pizza into the oven and ran upstairs to change out of my work clothes into a shorts and T-shirt, while Drew ran into his playroom and turned on the DVD player to watch an episode of a Mickey Mouse cartoon. (yeah, he's learned to operate his DVD player all by himself...pretty scary)
Back downstairs, turned on the TV, watched Tyra Banks take an HIV test. Found myself not really caring about the outcome, but there's not much on at 6:15 p.m. on a weeknight.
Drew ran around the kitchen a few times looking for something to eat, finally spying a basket of Star Wars Pez dispensers (a Christmas present from my soon-to-be brother-in-law, God bless his little heart) on the counter.
"Yeah, uh....no. We'll not be having Pez for dinner."
My favorite dispenser, by the way, is the R2-D2 one. (the middle one, for the non-geek among you) You can eat Pez right out of a robot's butt! What fun!
Anyway, I deterred him from the basket with an offer of chocolate milk. Drew is very picky about his chocolate milk. It has to be chocolate syrup in white milk, not pre-made chocolate milk. And you have to leave some of the syrup on the bottom of the cup, because he will hold the cup over his head to check it.
The pizza was finished, so I made Drew stand over by the kitchen table while I removed it from the oven, because I'm a klutz and I prefer not to have him nearby when I'm handling stuff that's just been heated at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
I cut up his pizza into manageable bites and also gave him a cup of the old standby - applesauce - in case the pizza didn't meet his approval. Fortunately, he ate it, which means he ate some vegetables! Yay! Vegetables for dinner means we can have Pez for dessert!
Cleaned up the dinner dishes and gave Simon some leftover pizza. (he loves it when Drew doesn't clean his plate)
Told Drew it was time for bubbles. (i.e. bathtime!) Drew, being 2 and a half, had to walk up the stairs "all by myself!", which takes like 10 times longer than it would if I carried him, but that's OK. It gave the water time to get warm.
Sat on a stool next to the tub and read part of my new book ("Something Borrowed" by Emily Giffin) while Drew made castles out of his bubbles.
Removed Drew from the tub after calmly explaining to him that he could not get out of the tub "all by myself!" because it was too slippery and dangerous.
Dodged flailing limbs while dressing him in his pajamas (and had an argument about that - he wanted to wear his "dig-dirt" shirt - the one with a picture of a bulldozer on the front - and I had to explain to him that there was no sense wearing his cool shirt to bed, because then nobody would see it and he couldn't make anybody jealous with his awesomeness. I think he got it, because he stopped complaining.)
Back downstairs...again "all by myself!". Drew wanted a snack, so I gave him a cup of blueberry yogurt, which he calls his "Pidahman ohgurt", because it had a picture of Spiderman on the side.
Then we sat in the recliner together and shared some strawberry Pez (he from the Death Star dispenser, me from R2-D2's shiny little rear) while we watched the tail end of Dr. Phil, which was a really awfully depressing story about this couple with deaf-blind triplets.
It was time for tooth-brushing, which he did "all by myself!" of course, although I did manage to get in a swipe or two on the premise of "checking for cavity bugs!"
Then we marched (literally, with cadences and everything) into the playroom to pick out his pre-bedtime books. Last night, he chose "Little Teddy Roosevelt Learns About Courage" and, one of my favorites, "Good Night Moon."
We returned to the recliner, where I had to read each story to him twice before he'd let me turn out the light. Then we rocked together while watching...something. What did we watch on TV? Some nature show on Animal Planet, I think. I was kind of zoning and listening to Drew sing that infernal "I dig dirt" song over and over.
Then I carried him halfway up the stairs before he realized what I was doing and demanded to be put down so he could...guess what? Walk up the stairs "all by myself!" At the top of the stairs, he gamely attempted to turn into my bedroom, but I blocked him and turned him in the right direction.
I got him into his crib and listened to his litany of demands - he always has a laundry list of things he "needs" before he can settle down and go to sleep. Last night it was "more chocolate milk" and "my fish lamp".
So I turned on the fish lamp and retrieved the chocolate milk and covered him with a blanket.
Before leaving the room, I said the same thing I always say..."Good night, Drew. I love you." I usually get a bit of fussing or a grunt in reply.
But last night, just as I was closing the door, I heard him say softly, "I love oo, too, Mama."
I opened the door and peeked in. "Really?" I said.
"Es, Mama. I love oo, too."