I gaze down at Kelsey, her sweet face illuminated only by the low light from the hallway, and we work our way through each of the precise steps of our nighttime routine: nosey-noseys, big kiss, big hug, ear check , and then the part where I tell her to stay in bed until morning. (This exhortation often doesn’t work, but I say it every night regardless.)
Then we get to our multilingual grand finale.
ME: Te amo, Kelsita.
KELSEY: Te amo, Daddy-cita.
ME: Je t’aime, Kelsey.
KELSEY: Je t’aime, Daddy.
ME: I love you, sweetie. [kiss on the forehead] Night night.
KELSEY: I love you too, Daddy.
She rolls away from just a little, eyes barely open with the weight of impending sleep. But then she stops, raises her left hand toward me, tucks the middle two fingers under her thumb and extends her pinky and forefinger:
I must make so very sure to thank my thirteen-year-old nephew for teaching her that.
(This here, my friends, is my two-hundredth post on Do or Do Not. Well, technically that’s probably not true — there’s some older posts that I removed for various reasons, so I probably actually passed 200 a couple of weeks ago. But WordPress assures me ths is my 200th active post. So… yay me, hooray for perseverance and consistency, yadda yadda. Not bad considering a month ago I was thinking of junking the site altogether.)
 For those of you who don’t know Kelsey, she has a thing about ears. Always has. The single most surefire way to tell when she’s really tired is to watch for the earlobe-clutching to begin — preferably a parent or other adult’s, but her own if no bigger ears are avialable. We thought she’d have outgrown her ear fetish by age four, but still no luck.