But of course, there's a downside. It's called bedtime. Bedtime for the past few nights has gone like this:
Step 1: Get the kids ready for bed. Teeth brushed, stories read.
Step 2: Dash lies down, possibly drawing in his notebook for a while until he falls asleep.
Step 3: Meanwhile, I take Mabel into her room and nurse her down.
Step 4: Down on that side, down on the other side, first side again... and she's hungry. Or thirsty for cold water from the fridge, Mummy. Please, Mummy.
Step 5: I bring her water and/or a frozen waffle. So much for the teeth.
Step 6: All done. I lie down with her again. "This is the last side, Mabel. No more sides after this."
Step 7: Mabel leaps up and makes a break for the door.
Step 8: Mabel gets to come downstairs and play for an extra twenty minutes, so long as she's quiet and leaves me alone to drink my belated cup of coffee.
Step 9: Mabel wants to watch something on my computer. Mabel wants to write her name on my computer. Mabel wants one of those things I'm eating with my coffee. Time for Mabel to go back upstairs.
Step 10: (Optional) Daddy is inveigled into going upstairs and telling Mabel some stories. Daddy is summarily dismissed.
Step 11: I go up one last (I swear, this is it) time.
Step 12: Some time about an hour and a half after her initial bedtime, Mabel finally nurses to sleep.
Hooray! Time to relax. Oh, wait. I had that in the afternoon. Fold some laundry, put away the dishes, and go to bed.