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February 27, 2001 - Tuesday
Harry's bedtime routine typically begins with his mother bringing him upstairs for a bath. (He doesn't need a bath every night, I suppose, but there are plenty of times when tomato sauce covered hands may have ventured into his hair during dinner and it is a good routine for a young boy's schedule.) There hasn't been much pageantry to this first step toward sleeping in the past, though his mother does usually lift him to take him upstairs and suggest he wave goodnight to daddy. Sometimes she'll bring him over for a goodnight kiss.

But, last night, and again this evening, the most amazingly charming thing happened. Harry seemed a little tired on his own and ready to go upstairs. His mother, seemingly rhetorically, asked Harry if he were ready to go take a bath and if he wanted to say goodnight to daddy. What do you know, he did it. He walked around the coffee table to where I was relaxing on the couch, leaned over, and gave me his best approximation of a kiss. His lips were thrust outward slightly, though not particularly puckered, but that's plenty good enough for me. I have to concede I was, for an instant, taken aback at a face coming straight toward mine, but that immediately gave way to marvel and delight at my son's new feat.

Perhaps even more amazing in the grand scheme of childhood development, after I thanked Harry for his thoughtfulness, he turned and headed straight toward the stairs on his own, apparently quite ready to get on with his evening schedule. He still cried when he got out of the bath and realized it was, indeed, time for sleeping, but somehow with less conviction.

Comments, opinions?