Firstborn will be five in about a week.
So I sit down on the bed next to him, and I explain that it's really late, and that he needs to go to sleep so that he won't be grumpy tomorrow. I tell him that I'm really sure that if he'll just stay still and be quiet, he'll go right to sleep. I ask him if he can do that for me.
No reply. To his credit, he has the "still and quiet" part down cold. But I wait a moment and ask it again. "Can you do that for me? I know you're awake," I add. "I saw you jump into bed."
So, after a moment I reach down and put my thumb on his chin and use it to move his mouth. In a squeaky puppet voice, I say (for him), "Yes, Daddy, I can do that."
I am rewarded by a small grin in the darkness.
Last night, I went in to check on him and try to get him to lay still, and found that he was awfully stuffy. (So am I, actually. Allergy season is upon us like some horrific curse loosed from the tombs of the elder world.) So I got him some decongestant, and told him to give himself a few minutes to let it work. Then, if he'd be still and quiet, he'd probably go right to sleep, I said.
Fifteen minutes later I go back in there because I can still hear him playing. He once again leaps up into bed, and is sort of... well... I don't know if any professional gymnasts suffer from somnambulism, but if they do, their night-time floor routines might look something like this. I think he was trying to roll over and get his head on the pillow and his body in center of the bed (while still being "asleep"). So I picked him and tucked him into position.
"You sure do make this harder when you're pretending to be asleep," I tell him. He, of course, doesn't answer; so I continue: "You want a blanket, or a sleeping bag?"
He still doesn't answer. So after a moment I put my thumb on his chin and make the puppet voice again: "Blanket." And I start to pull a blanket over him.
At that moment a small hand moves down and puts its own thumb on his chin, and a small puppet-voice says: "Sleeping Bag."
It took me half a minute to get the sleeping bag into place. I couldn't stop giggling.