And, sure enough: busted on my way back to bed. Wee Shiloh came running down the hall for a hug. "Auntie really needs to sleep a little longer," I said. Her face fell and I melted. "Why don't you come tuck me in?"
"OK!" she followed me into the bedroom. I got into bed, and she proceeded to make the bed over top of me - perfectly lining up all the edges and corners. And, of course, climbing all over me. Then she sat at the edge of the bed and told me a story. I have no idea what it was about, but she was quite pleased with it. I had a brainwave: Auntie, being very thirsty, could easily work a request for a drink of water into the "tucking in" routine. Shiloh scampered off obligingly, returning in short order with a jar of water.
She kissed me "goodnight" and left me alone.
Then, she came back to see if I needed more water.
Then, she came back to fix the blankets again.
Then, she and Hannah came in, and pretended to be a squirrel and a hen, gathering acorns and laying eggs (boiled, at my request), for my breakfast. Then they snuggled for a few minutes. And asked me some difficult questions, like: "Auntie, what do you have breasts for, if you don't have kids?"
(For the record, it turns out that the correct answer is "Ask your mother," not "To make my bathing suit fit better." Unfortunately, I found that out too late. In my defense: I was more than half asleep!)
Finally, they agreed to let me sleep another half hour, and they tiptoed out.
Then, they tiptoed back, to show me their colouring books, which they left for me.
Then, they came back to tell me they'd wake me up when breakfast was ready. This time, they shut the door when they left.
Then, Shiloh remembered we hadn't said prayers before bed, so she came back. She kneeled next to the bed, folded her hands, closed her eyes, and prayed: "Dear Jesus, please help Auntie have a good sleep." (Amen!)
Obviously, Jesus had other things going on at that moment. Shiloh came back to tell me she'd made me breakfast: "A peanut butter sandwich with just peanut butter and no jam and no pickles!"
Thank goodness for small mercies! I gave in, got up, and stumbled to the kitchen. A place mat was laid out for me, with a sandwich on a plate. Sis poured me coffee, and I nibbled at the dry sandwich while Shiloh beamed proudly. And the other kids all mocked me for not having pickles in my sandwich.
Then, I took a shower with a shark: