I swing up the stairs, around the newel post, and down to the first door.
It's dim in there - the blue of twilight coming through her lace curtain and her Madeline nightlight cheerily glowing in the corner, but the dark can't hide her grin and wave when I come in.
Surrounded by stuffed rabbits of every size and possible colour, my little one waits for her tucking-in with a wiggle and a determined planting of her feet on top of the covers. When I bend and sweep her blanket up, I have to find resting spots for all her bunnies before she'll relax into waiting-for-sleep.
Saying goodnight to her is a process - a song, prayers, a second song, a quick kiss and a conversation about what tomorrow will bring, and only then do I walk down to Cass's room.
Cass is usually reading. Or possibly playing his DS, covers pulled up but the sheet crumpled at the foot of the bed. It takes me a minute to fix that, settle him with his fan turned on, his door opened just so, Lucy the cat ensconced in her spot at the end of the bed and his final kiss, and then we talk a little about the day.
He loves me, he says, and he'll see me tomorrow.
And I step out of my big boy's room and walk softly down the hall, past his already-slumbering sister's room where the plop! of a bunny hitting the floor is the only sound, and head toward the pool of light at the bottom of the stairs.
I love this time of night, when the television is muted and low and I can hear them turn over or scramble up for a quick drink before bed. When the cat padding down the hallway to check on the girl is the loudest sound in the house.
When my babies are safe, and fast asleep, and dreaming.