It is a rule that Paolo may not sleep in his cape, due to the obvious strangulation hazard. Plus we're just mean. Every night Paolo questions the foundation of this rule and tries to reason his way around it. He can't grasp that the cape might hurt his neck because it's not hurting him right now, so I've had to resort to the old "I said so" standby. Since children are creatures of habit, I came up with the association that, when lights are turned out at bedtime, capes come off. (That's capes with an 's' because sometimes Paolo isn't the only person wearing one.) This worked well for a couple of nights. Last night, however, Paolo got clever on me. I turned off the bedside lamp and reminded Paolo to remove his cape. Ah, but the booklight is still on, and that's a light, so the cape can stay on, he reasoned. Okay, you got me, but once I turn off the booklight, that's it. And he agreed. I finished reading his book, clicked off the light, and again asked for his cape. "But, Mama," he said as he crawled over the top of me to point at something on the nightstand, "there's still lights." "The alarm clock?!," I said into his stomach. "That doesn't count. That's not…it's only a…will you just…." And then I cracked up, and we laughed together until it hurt.
But I still made him take his cape off.