this past saturday night i, on a slightly ill-advised whim, decided to meet my sister and her family for dinner and from there to take my (step)niece to my house for a sleepover. she is newly four, quite precocious, quite the manipulator when she wants to be, and totally fun most of the time.

in my brilliance i decided to get her hopped up on sugar at eight p.m. only to watch a movie. we made triple chunk chocolate brownies (she stirred the mix! and she cracked the eggs! and she made brownies! she MADE THEM!), painted nails as they baked, read a book on monsters, had a bath, then settled on to my big bed (she was forced to use my leather bench at the foot of my bed as a stepping stone to get on to it) to watch “ratatouille” and gorge on brownies and milk. we were up until midnight, whereupon it was time for bed and for my hand on her back to protect her from Monsters That Will Definitely Get Her.

the morning started, for reagan, at 7:22 a.m., at which time she abruptly sat up in bed next to me and said, “katie. katie? katie. it is morning time.” i groggily told her that it was morning time indeed, but still quiet time. she huffily laid back down with her feet towards the pillows and somewhat patiently tried to wait me out. i did hear several, “katie? it is still morning time. wake up now?” but they were fairly quiet and quickly shushed. 8:15 turned out to be her limit, so i clicked on cartoons and fell back asleep as she glazed over, finally waking up at 9.

that morning went on to include a trip to the nelson with mandatory treats from the store, and then a brunch out to 180 in westport with my coworker ray and his godchildren, evie & ollie. at 12 and 10 they had a few years on my 4-year-old, but they were great with her and taught her tricks with a straw and patiently listened to her regale them with how she. made. brownies. she. stirred. them! despite her finicky eating habits, she managed to down an entire salad (lettuce, cheese, and croutons, that is all, with “wanch sauce”) and white grape juice.

from there we went back to her dad and my sister’s house, the drive of which resulted in a severely passed out little girl, finally crashing from sugar, food, art, people, and movie rushes all exploding within her. and so ended my little experiment in parenting – although as a parent i guess i would not be able to crack her out on sugar, keep her up late, and then hand her off. way more fun this way.


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