Clara was the first awake this morning, as usual. After banging around the house for 15 minutes or so she showed up at the edge of my bed already smacking her lips on a wad of bubble gum. She claimed her mother had said she could have one of her birthday gum balls for breakfast. But then she clarified, “Or, well, maybe she didn’t say I could have it. But she was there when I ate it and she didn’t tell me to stop.” I nodded understanding, but too tired to think of a proper response. I doubt this defense of hers would hold up in court though. In fact, It reminded me of a time I tried to convince a policeman not to give me a ticket for my broken headlight, claiming that I had passed several other police cars earlier that hadn’t pulled me over. I was given the ticket anyway. The child, however, was already gone by the time I returned to reality.

Clara, who is usually bubbly in the morning anyway, was now both bubbly and high on bubble gum. She danced off of the walls. She trailed curls like ripples of water as she splashed from room to room. It is an exhausting thing to wake up to. It’s like she is a robot with loose joints and the electricity spills out at the hinges and shocks you when she moves past. Other times she literally will rub her socks on the floor and then prod you with a static shock and then shriek in triumph if she is successful. Occasionally she will even do this when you are still sleeping. This is something she believes is “fun”.

This morning she was eager for her sister to wake up so they could play together. So, in an effort to make sure Lydia woke up in a good mood, Clara prepared a surprise for her. She took her birthday balloon bundle and placed it so the balloons were standing in a pink and green bouquet above her sister’s head, and then she scattered bags of fruit snacks around her, so she would find them immediately upon waking up. I’m sure in Clara’s little mind she believes it would be a heavenly joy to wake up in a bed full of fruit snacks. I unfortunately had to leave for work before discovering Lydia’s opinion.