You Know How Quiet

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."

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