Poor thing's been shuffled around for so long now, waiting-waiting-waiting for her baby sister to get out of the hospital so she can be home with Mommy again.
"Auntie Alanna, I'm thirsty. Auntie Alanna, why can't I sleep in Noa's bed? Auntie Alanna, is it night time if I'm not tired? Auntie Alanna, I need six songs to fall to sleep. Auntie Alanna, why did you put this bed here? Auntie Alanna, can I have a cookie?"
She's tucked down low in the sleeping bag on Noa's bedroom floor, a
dragon and turtle in one arm and her baby doll, Flower, in the other. "Auntie Alanna...?" she calls one more time, voice high and heavy with near sleep. "Auntie Alanna, I'm not even tired a little tiny bit."
I lay down beside her on the sleepover mattress and touch my finger to her nose. "Yes, you are," I tell her and I could probably fall asleep right there because I might love her to the ends of the earth but she exhausts me to the edge of it with her undulating energy.
"But then I need another song. I want another song, Auntie Alanna."
"What kind of song, Paige?"
"Um, like a song about Pippin and the sink and cowboys."
I make one up and it's pure gold. "Do you want dream angels?" I ask her.
"What's dream angels?"
"They're tickles I put on your head to make you have good dreams. Do you want some?"
"Can I have dreams about my baby coming home? My Elsie Rose needs to come home real soon. Mommy said she was playing tricks on the doctor so he said she couldn't come home. Mommy said she has to stop playing tricks."
"We all hope she's home really soon," I tell her and tickle her head with Elsie Rose angels.
"Auntie Alanna, are dream angels just straight lines?"
"I'm not sure. Do you think they're straight lines?"
She shrugs and holds her fingers up high above her face, wiggling them. "They're like this, right?"
"Maybe." I kiss her forehead and pull myself up from the floor. "Goodnight, Paige," I say as I flip the light switch and begin to close the door.
"Auntie Alanna? They're like rainbows, right?"
"Yes, Paige, they're just like rainbows."