The bath is done. His tummy's full. We've sat through Upsy Daisy's dance and Macca Pacca's obsession with stones. Iggle Piggle is not in bed... neither is Dylan. We're on the home run. Just story time to get through, then he goes down and it's finally my time. I don't know about you, but sometimes it crosses my mind to skip the story - or pick the shortest one I can find - so I can get to that falling on the sofa moment a little quicker...
But then I have to have a word with myself. Story time is important. It's special time to be together (we're together all day, but that's not the point, right?). So I get him in his grow bag (I don't care what anyone says, the grow bag gets me every time) and I pick a story.
But what to read...? I've been in the Deep Dark Woods more times than Red Riding Hood and I know there's plenty of Room on the Broom for a dog, cat, bird and frog/ I could recite I'm Not Cute backwards and, I expect, so could Dylan.
So I pick a new story: Doing the Animal Bop. It's not too long. It'll do, I think.
I open the page and there are ostriches dancing across a pink double page spread. I begin the rhyming prose - its kinda fun. I wonder whether there's even any point to this nightly ritual. Is he taking this in? Does he care? Or would he rather be pulling the curtains?
Then he starts to laugh.
And its his proper laugh too, not the fake one he does to get our attention. I look around, wondering what has created this moment of mirth, then I realise he's laughing at the pictures, or the rhyme, or both. It doesn't matter - he's enjoying the story. As I read on, he keeps laughing harder and louder until we're both laughing our way to the end.
As I put him to bed, I realise even though I'm with him a lot of the day, even though we play and cuddle in between the hoovering and washing up and play dates, story time is special. It's sacred. It's a guaranteed time we share together and I vow never to rush or considering skipping it again... well, not for at least a couple of night's anyway.
Vicky McFarland is a storyteller and writer based in Northern Ireland. Her Tale Time audio stories are enjoyed by children across the world. You can follow her on facebook and twitter, visit the website or join the mailing list to find out about new story collections.