“Come on, Tori. It’s time for bed.”
“I don’t want tooooo.”
“You can either walk up stairs or I can carry you. Oooone, twoooooo…”
Her little feet patter across the fake wood floor and she throws herself down on the stairs. She’s pretending to pout, but I see her grinning under her tangled blonde hair.
“Do you want me to carry you?”
“No. I going!”
She slithers up one step, still in fake tantrum position. I see her watching me from under one flung-out arm.
Trying to hide my smile, I step over her and pretend to start running up the stairs.
“I’m going to beat you! You better hurry up!”
“NO! I go first,” she giggles, pulling back on my legs with all her strength.
“You better go faster if you want to beat me!”
She pushes past me on all fours and gallops up the remaining steps. Then, reaching the top, she jumps up and grins down at me.
“I did it! I beat you! Yaaaay,” she claps, hopping up and down at the same time.
“You sure did! Now. Do you want to put on your jammies or brush your teeth first?”
“I go POTTY!”
“Okay. Let’s go in the bathroom.”
“I go potty downstairs!”
“No, Victoria, let’s use your purple…”
Too late, I realize she’s already quick stepping her way down the stairs.
And so it begins again.