Aside

i hope i don’t beat this spirit out of her

[Annie, 45 minutes after bedtime. Her 3rd appearance at her door, and perhaps the 10th time we’ve intervened since 7:30.]

Annie: Mom, can I have one more question?

Me: Annie, I’m really disappointed to see you out of bed. This is the time to be resting our bodies.

Annie: But Mom, I needed to tell you that Paul shared some of his lovies with me.

Me: Okay, but I don’t understand why you needed to get out of bed and tell me that, or—Paul shouldn’t be—he shouldn’t be out of bed either, even sharing lovies.

Annie: But Mom, I just wanted to tell you about kindness.

[Beat]

Me, with a softer tone: Oh gosh, Annie. I do, I do like hearing about kindness. But—

Annie: And it’s a dog family. Okay, goodnight.

Me: Goodnight.

Annie: Mom, do you know who I love the most?

Me: Who?

Annie: My whole family.

Me: That’s LOVELY, Annie. Goodnight.

Annie: Goodnight!

[10 minutes later, still listening to them chatter]

Aside

as you know!

The scene: in the bathroom, a mother attempts to get her 5-going-on-15-year-old daughter to stop playing and start the bedtime routine.

Mother, chipper: As you know, Annie, tomorrow’s another home day, so we’ll have lots of time for that later.

Daughter, with pathos: Well as you know, Mom, I hate doing things LATER!!!

(Daughter storms off and flings herself on the bed.)