I managed to get Lillian into bed by 8.00pm tonight. That’s early for her. Fortunately she doesn’t really know how to read a clock yet. She just knows the sequence – dinner-bath-dessert-clean teeth-story-sleep. If we can compress that sequence she accepts going to be earlier.
In the last couple of days she’s been playing with a doll Granny Helen gave her a while ago, with special knitted clothing and also a pajama suit. She takes the doll to the bath with her, then after the bath she takes off the day clothes and puts the pajamas on. She hangs all the clothes on a single coathanger, compressing them on any-which-way, and then asks that they be hung up alongsider her other dresses in the closet. In the morning she puts the day clothes back on again.
Tonight, about 15 minutes after we left her to sleep, she cried out. She said she was scared, she had seen a shadow. She didn’t want to be left alone. I think she was making up the part about being scared, but she was pleading so touchingly that I agreed to sit beside her. I went and got a laptop computer, which fortunately know works anywhere in the house because (at long last) we have our wireless setup working.
She was watching me catching up on email and after a while she murmured “It is like playing the piano, isn’t it.”
Later, she sat up and asked: “Daddy, how much water is there in Australia?”
Lots, I said.
“You mean bigger than this house?”
How to explain how much water there is in Australia? “Yes, much bigger. Do you remember when we went swimming in the ocean at the island? Lots, like that.”
She looked worried. “But that’s salty!”
And so it went on…