“You can sing, you can talk, you can read, but please stay in bed. It is bed time. Just stay in bed. You can do whatever you want, but I do not want you to leave this bed, do you understand? I love you, good night, see you in the morning” turn out to be really stupid words to say to a creative but poorly two-year-old with enough raised temperature to be under-exercised and bored but not enough to be floppy and sleepy.
Still, when I went back in an hour later and found him in the middle of leaning out and lifting a large foam cube into the bed, with everything else that had previously been within arms reach already piled in a pyramid in the middle, proudly presenting it when I opened the door with “Mama! It a SQUARE!” I really wasn’t able to be angry, because if nothing else, for once, he had totally listened and done exactly what I’d asked. He had not once left the bed.
It was just that everything else in the room had joined him in there.