Small dog is a great fan of bedtime.
This is partly because bedtime is sometimes accompanied by a cup of tea and a biscuit, but mostly because she gets to play some of her favourite games.
High on the list is one she calls "No Reading Mum"
The rules are few and simple.
Player 1 settles down comfortably with a bedtime book, propped up on the duvet.
Player 2 takes up position just behind the book, and initiates the first phase of the game with some subtle distraction play which involves raising the head so that the tips of two large furry ears appear over the top of the book.
Player 1 must ignore this and continue to read. If Player 1 giggles or otherwise acknowledges the presence of Player 2 the game is over.
Player 2 must then raise the stakes by standing up and putting their nose over the top of the book, effectively preventing pages from being turned. This should be accompanied by an intense stare.
If this does not distract Player 1, Player 2 must jump off the bed and return immediately with a squeaky toy, casually discarded sock, or similar item.
Player 2 must then attempt to drop the item over the top of the book, simultaneously cocking her head on one side for maximum cuteness.
Game over. Player 2 wins
Her most favourite game of all time, is "Ratinthebed". This takes the form of a play, with dialogue and actions.
Me: (whispering) Shhhh! Listen! What's that?
Small Dog: Freezes, ears quivering, tail erect.
Me: Make tiny, almost inaudible scratching sound under the duvet.
Small Dog: Feigns indifference but remains on red alert
Me: Make slightly louder scratching sound accompanied by small movements
Small Dog: Turns to face the source of the sound, which immediately stops. Stares intently at the spot.
Me: Move hand to a different area under the duvet and resume scratching.
Small Dog: Cock head from side to side to identify where the creature now is.
Me: Stay very still and quiet...............
Small Dog: Takes a huge leap in the air and lands on all fours on top of the creature, then begins digging like a maniac, turning round in circles.
This is repeated ad infinitum...........
The winner is whoever runs out of energy last. This is invariably Small Dog.
Other popular bedtime games include "Hide or Lick", "Bark, Bark Bark" and "Phantom Burglar", the rules of which I expect you can deduce for yourself.