Sleep, a dialog poem

“7 o’clock! Screen off!” I announced.

“Okay,” she agreed.

“8:15! Pajamas and teeth!” I added.

“Okay,” she allowed.

“I’ll read you Narnia,” I suggested.

“Dork Diaries,” she countered.

“Fine,” I sighed.

Squeeee! Smiley face emoji!” I read.

“Hmm,” she responded.

Becoming a famous pop star fantasy!” I continued.

“Aaaah,” she volunteered.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Rainbow loom,” she explained.

“In bed?” I doubted.

“It relaxes me!” she elaborated.

“Well, okay, then, I guess,” I conceded.

“Thanks!” she declared.

Hilarious and embarrassing event broadcast on reality TV!” I went on.

“Hah!” she laughed.

“Last chapter,” I warned.

“But I have to do three more bracelets,” she objected.

“It’s late. Maybe just do two?” I wheedled.

“No! I need one for Lucy, one for Ariana, and one for me!” she carped.

“And then you’ll sleep?” I intoned.

“Yes!” she avowed.

“Fine,” I capitulated.

“Done with one!” she gushed.

“Ah. Great. But it’s 9:15 now—you need to sleep soon,” I emphasized.

“I will!” she claimed.

Another Dork Diary fable of vanquishing the mean girl,” I enunciated.

“Hmmm,” she sibilated.

“What?” I questioned.

“What colors will Ariana like?” she pondered.

“Pick quickly, it’s past bedtime,” I pointed out.

“Okay, okay,” she quipped.

“How many are done now?” I ventured.

“One and a half,” she reported.

“That’s all?” I sputtered.

“Dad, chill out,” she teased.

“Fine. Yet another chapter of success despite basic common sense or human decency,” I recited.

“I’m close,” she promised.

“You’ve been so tired lately,” I reiterated.

“I’ll go straight to sleep,” she professed.

“I know you’ll keep that promise,” I prayed.

“One more chapter?” she implored.

“Fine, again. Still one more story that irritates every fiber of my being,” I articulated.

“That was it?” she moaned.

“That was it,” I confirmed.

“What time is it?” she wondered.

“10 o’clock. An hour and a half after your bedtime,” I noted.

“Dad?” she yawned.

“Yes?” I whispered.

“Dad?” she hummed.

“Sleep well, little one,” I urged.

“Dad?” she gurgled.

“Shhhh,” I murmured.

“Dad, I’m HUNGRY!” she yowled.

Quietly, I cried.