Conversation With A 4-year-old At 1:22 a.m.

"Hi Mommy."

"Honey, you're supposed to be asleep."

"I know. You know what?"


"Remember when I came out of your tummy?"

"Yes, when you came out of my tummy I was so happy to see you."

"You were so happy that you cried!"

"Yes, I did, and so did Daddy, because we love you so much."

"I do that, too, sometimes. When I see one of my best toys I'm so happy that I cry."

"Yeah, it's kind of like that."

I take toast out of the toaster and butter it. She watches me sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it. "You know if I have some of that I can brush my teeth again."

"Would you like to share it with me?"

"Yes. What is it?"

"It's cinnamon toast."

"What does it taste like?"

"Toast with cinnamon and sugar. It's sweet."

"Can I have some? And can I watch TV with you for 5 minutes?"

"Yes, but I'm watching a cooking show."

"I LOVE cooking shows!"


We sit down and she tastes her little piece of cinnamon toast. "Mmmmm... I LOVE IT!"

We finish our cinnamon toast. "Ella, we should make another piece, don't you think?"


We wait for our bread to toast. She points at the Oreos in the cabinet. "Every time I have dinner I want one of these."

"They are pretty delicious."

"The dinner might be a big sandwich and I might have to put my mouth up to the ceiling to eat it."

She looks at the clock on the oven. "It's 221, what does that make?"

"It's very late. It's 1:22."

"That means everyone needs to be asleep!"


She checks on Indie in his crate. "He's upside down like this!" She throws herself on the floor, lies on her back, and sticks her tongue out to the side.

"Okay, honey. Our cinnamon toast is ready. Let's go to the couch."

"I'm going to run! Watch my hair in the back!"

She runs to the couch.

"Did it blow?"


"I love you so much, Mommy. I love you forever AND I love you a thousand hundred million dollars. That's how much I love you!"

"I love you so, so much, too, baby."

"Mommy, you know what happens when I jump on the couch? I fall down on my bottom! Like this! Watch!"

We share our second piece of cinnamon toast.

"Mommy, you know it will take all night to go to sleep. I think I will have to sleep on the couch."


"Because I'm eating crumbs so it will make me go to sleep. Mommy, pretend I'm in pretend life."

"What does that mean?"

"It means I'm on TV but I'm on pretend life. Pretend you're watching me on TV right now, okay?"


"Mommy! Take a picture of the cooking show on TV!"

"Okay." (It's Barefoot Contessa.)

"Ella, I think it's time for us to go to bed."

"Mommy, I'm still eating."

"The cinnamon and sugar?"

She licks cinnamon and sugar off her thumb. "Yes. Mommy! All the crumbs are people and they're trying to get away from the thumb tornado. They're trying to get away in their house, but their house is the bread and it's already in my tummy."

We let Indie out of his crate to go outside one last time. When he comes back in he smothers Ella with kisses.

"Ahhh... he's licking me! Because he loves me and he's the best dog ever! He's the only Indie we need!"

"He loves you very much, Ella. It's time for bed, sweetie girl."

"Okay, Mommy. I love you."

"I love you, baby."