The other night, Trish put Ella to bed and spent an hour in her room. The kid didn’t go to sleep. She was crying, pleading — Ella, not Trish. So I go in, a late-round tag.

I tell Ella the rules — I’ll stay in her room as long as she’s quiet. She lies down.


I sit on the floor. She starts talking, pops up and looks around for me. I get her to lie down and be quiet.


For about a minute and a half. Then, totally unprompted, I hear sobs. Genuine sobs, not the usual bluff.

I get up and sit on the bed. “Here, Daddy. Down.” She gets me to lie down.

Then, once I’m within her range, she grabs my hand, pulls my arm out from under my head and curls herself right on top, snuggling into my elbow, like it’s her pillow.