She knocks on the bathroom door as I'm fixing my hair before leaving for work. It's still dark outside, and she squints at the brightness of the overhead light.
"Can I please go downstairs and watch some TV?"
It's the question she asks every morning, groggily. A half hour of cartoons for her is like a cup of coffee for an adult; it propels her into wakefulness.
I nod, give a morning hug, and offer the perfunctory response, "Yes, just tiptoe downstairs. Your sisters still are sleeping."
Today she looks at me, "Mom, you know how quiet I am."
This is true. I know exactly how quiet she is while in motion, which on a scale of one to ten, with one signifying silence and ten rivaling a plan taking off, registers around a seven. This child can impressively thud her down a flight of stairs, knocking into walls and other large, stationery objects in a way that belies her lithe, forty-eight pound frame.
Yes, child, I know how quiet you are. Which is why I say it again. "I do, sweetie. Be sure to tiptoe."