Yesterday, after school, the girls decided to take a picnic "lunch" out to the middle area of the apartment complex. This led to about three hours of play with the other kids, including, I was told afterward, the older boys coming to play school with them, plus some sort of parading and chasing game, plus a making-soup game with regular snack refills. When they came in for dinner I served up leftovers, including the last of the gluten-free pasta. "This is all there is?" Chloe said when I warned her that was all the leftovers we had, and she started to cry.
It wasn't a tantrumy sort of crying; it was the crying of a tired girl who was very disappointed. I offered her rice and seaweed and tomatoes, which helped. "Can we snuggle on the couch and read before baths?" she said wistfully, and of course I said yes. We've been reading The Rescue Princesses, a series of books about princesses (well, girls who are called princesses; other than wearing tiaras all the time their lives are not actually different from the standard American chapter-book reader) who like to rescue animals in trouble with the aid of sparkly gems. And ninja moves. Don't ask. I only read a chapter, because it was getting late and I wanted to get her to bed on time. When we'd done baths and tooth-brushing and were snuggled in bed (after another chapter), I tucked her blanket around her and said, "You're tired, aren't you?"
Every other time I've asked this (of either girl), the response has been "I'm not tired!!!!" But this time she nodded and sighed. I kissed her good-night, and Maia as well, and she was asleep within a few minutes. My poor little growing-up girl.