Sometimes when one parent travels and one parent is home alone, no one sleeps.
Sometimes this is due to a Mary Poppins watching party, and sleeplessness is exciting and paired with a plum tart.
Other times, sleeplessness persists hours past the time the entire house should have fallen silent.
Sometimes, the person refusing sleep is 3 years old.
Sometimes, he lies in his bed crying in bursts and fits because he is hot. Because he wants milk. Because there is no milk in the house. Because his skin itches. Because it still itches. Because there is a tank with red eyes trying to shoot him from the bathroom.
Sometimes the parent on duty on such a night as this, is very tired because of her own project-filled sleeplessness catching up with her and does not want to play the meet-every-need-in-the-night game until MIDNIGHT. But she does play because she must.
Sometimes, once ALL the needs have been met, lotion has been applied, promises have been made about trips to the store first thing in the morning, once the tank peeking out of the bathroom has been redefined as pink and shooting bubbles and rubber ducks, and the child has been safely tucked into the parent's bed for that night and that night only, the parent is quite ready to sleep. Quite.
And so the parent may dim the light so the room is sleep-conducive, put on her pajamas, and walk quietly to the sink to brush her teeth. She may squeeze toothpaste on her toothbrush and vigorously begins brushing her molars, as she does every night, to instantly discover that said toothpaste is in fact diaper cream, and that yes, for the second time in her life, she has begun to brush her teeth with diaper rash cream.
At this point, the parent may curse the designers of diaper rash cream tubes for making them look just like toothpaste tubes, throw her own toothbrush into the trashcan and begin spitting dramatically in the sink.
This may or may not help the onlooking 3 year old -- who incidentally will toss and turn for the next hour -- fall into a deep sleep.