There is a part of each day that is one of my favourites.
The day is almost over, Mads always has a bath and we get her up and scoop her into her monster towel with a hood and lay her on our bed.
She is all damp, and she wriggles around on the bed trying to escape as she doesn't want to put her nappy or pj's on. She squirms from our grasp, and normally jumps up and down on the bed, giggling and smiling. I don't know what it is but jumping on the bed is so much fun.
She is so innocent, totally unaware of the fact she has her little bare bum on display- she is not at an age where she is embarrased to have no clothes on. I want her to stay that way forever- totally comfortable and free from teenage awkwardness.
Eventually we get her jammies on, and then we try and attempt to brush her teeth. Her little eyes light up when she sees her toothbrush and she exclaims 'teeth, teeth'. Toothbrushes are also so much fun.
She then clambers on to either mine or Daddy's lap and all of a sudden it is like a switch goes off in her head. Time to wind down. The day is over. She becomes so cuddly.
And then we read a story. Usually while she is still brushing her teeth. I love reading to her. But I love hearing my husband read to her even more. She has so many books already and each one is so incredibly exciting to her- she turns the pages, touches them and tries to copy what we say.
I have such fond memories of both my Mum and my Dad reading to me as a child. With a glass of milk and my Dad's comforting voice lulling me in to the land of sleep.
Reading to Mads is such a privilege. She sits there on my lap, and is so close that I can smell her freshly washed hair. Her hair is still damp and I rest my chin on her head- breathing in every inch of her. I wrap my arms around her and I can feel her little heart beating against me.
Those moments when I read her a story are just so wonderful.
And then just like that, the story is over and we reach for our milk. She lays down in my arms and we snuggle and she drinks it herself with sometimes a helping hand from us. Once she is done, we carry her, like a baby, into her room.
Place her in her cot, put 'Friend' into her arms, and say 'Night Night.' 'See you in the morning.'
And off my little girl goes into the land of nod.
After a long or tiring day, I always look forward to that five minutes when she lays in either mine or Mr E's lap and we read a story together. It is a pleasure to be able to fill her head full of imagination and make believe- a world where cows talk and run in the meadow, Peppa Pig washes the car with her daddy or where kittens wear crowns. A world of fun, fantasy and love.
Where life is perfect and there is not a care in the world.
And for those few moments every evening, that is exactly what it is.