Oh my dear Duncan, he thinks he's fooling us with his pre-bed stalling tactics. What he doesn't realize is that children have been doing this for many, many years.
Duncan has several stall tactics. 1st, when he knows it's approaching bed time he'll either play very quietly hoping to avoid detection (I remember doing this when I was a kid) or he'll ask for a snack just before bed time, knowing if we say yes he'll get to finish it 1st (our answer usually depend on how well he did for dinner).
Then when you say it's bed time (or nap time for that matter - he still naps 2 hours every afternoon) he does this fake cry. I just say you take a nap/go to bed every day, this is not different.
Once upstairs he's taken to doing a little dance in our room. Very cute. Makes us laugh. Go brush your teeth.
Then it's story time. I'm all for bed time stories. I love that he is getting stories now, and it's fun to sit and read to him. A few stories. Not many stories. We've said we have no problem with him reading books in bed, but he gets one story from each of us, and then it's time to climb in.
Incidentally, we're about to move him to a bigger bed b/c of all his books and stuffed animals, there is not enough room for him! I too, used to have this problem.
Once in bed, and lights are out, and we're out of the room, we can expect to be called back in at least one more time. He always needs "another thing". What's funny is he can have everything and he'll lay there saying "ummm.... ummmm...." trying to think of something to stall.
It's cute. You know, it doesn't bug me too much b/c he's not fussing/crying/having temper tantrums. He just talks in bed/sings in bed/plays in bed... and I like that he is content on his own like that.
And eventually, always, he does fall asleep.