Bud and Sis eventually ended up bathed, brushed, and dressed for bed, but that in no way equaled ready. Even after stories, they were not settled. Sis was still sad that they weren't sleeping over and becoming upset about the patches on Shirt, which were more noticeable since she was sniffing him more in her sadness. And Bud just wanted to be in the middle of everything, talk it all over, hug everyone, play with Sis in his bed like he did last night, check on Sis--he even followed her to the bathroom twice.
Ma, Gong, and Goo left soon after tuck-in but I was upstairs before they'd left our street. There was a ladybug in the room flying around the light. Eventually, I caught her and took her outside but then Sis was upset that she hadn't gotten to see her (which I hadn't done for fear of the bug escaping). More cuddles and reassurances all around. And then Hermione, rummaging around under their beds, accidentally got closed in with them, occasioning another trip upstairs. More tears, another trip to the bathroom, extra hugs.
For a long time, Ma, Gong, and Goo have stayed for tuck-in and the kids have been just fine. But they're older now and that might be too much to ask: they couldn't come down off the day, dealing with that excitement, as well as coping with the sadness that the day was over and their family was leaving, all as we were trying to tuck them into bed. Sis just kept crying and Bud just kept saying how exciting it all was. And Mama and I just wanted to get them to sleep. And ourselves too.
Eventually, around 8:30, the last murmurs died down on the monitor and they fell asleep. Just another thing to be thankful for.
And that's it, folks. The leftovers are headed back to New York, with a few in the fridge. The kids are mostly asleep, with just a few of the usual 10 pm sounds. Mama is doing a Sudoku puzzle with a cat on her chest. And I'm blogging. Status quo.
Tomorrow: Christmas decorations!