At 9:30 p.m., Sophie’s constant energy is barely contained, even with the lights out and flannel sheets up to our chins. The bed is crowded with just the two of us, since half a dozen “my little ponies” have joined us on the counterpane, jumping in high spirits at my presence.
The chatter between Sophie and her tiny plastic friends finally turns to whispers, and then soft little snores. I start to fade out myself until I’m poked on one hip by a pony fairy wing, and I feel a plastic tail wiggle in my ear. Quietly, I place all the fantastical toys in the bin on the floor, and sink back into comfortable oblivion.
Until my eyes pop open. Two little-girl feet are propped on my face. I raise my neck a few inches and notice the sleeping child’s head down at the foot of the bed.
Not wanting to wake her (I really do believe in letting sleeping ponies, and little girls, lie) I slowly twist away and gently move the child’s knees off my chest.
An hour later (or is it only minutes?) an arm whaps me on the neck, and then a precious child, now right side up, cuddles into my stomach, finding my body a useful pillow.
I stare at the wispy white princess canopy over my head and demand my brain to stop laughing and GO BACK TO SLEEP.
Which I do, until an errant dolly finds my lower back, and brilliant little Sophie begins talking in her sleep.
An arcane language?
Oh. She’s mumbling about “glimmer winged” pony Rainbow Dash chasing Fluttershy in the magical night air.
5 a.m. and I just lay on the soft bed with my sweet grandchild, pretending that winged ponies are flying in and out of the canopy, dusting us with glitters of grandmotherly love.