I watched as my bedroom door slowly crept open this morning and a little brown eyeball peered in at me. When it noticed I was watching back from my nest of bed sheets, it disappeared for a moment, and then the door was flung wide and an 8-year-old in pink pajamas came creeping up next to my bed.

“Hi,” she said.

I blinked out of my soft cocoon, waiting for her to give up and leave me alone. But it wasn’t going to happen. A few blinks later and another face appeared in the doorway, this time that of a little boy with a large Cheshire cat grin.

I groaned and retreated a few inches into my feeble fortress of cloth. The two of them stood against the wall next to my bed staring down at me.

“Why?” I mumbled softly, to whatever in the universe might be listening.

A third face arrived, slowly extending past the door frame sideways, with long wispy hair hanging down in chaotic curls.

“Okay, so you’re all here.”

Clara nodded and glance along their ranks as they came into final formation along the wall.

“Yes!” she said proudly. “I gave them the signal, and they came.”

I squinted up at her. “What signal?”

“This one.” She made a chopping motion with one hand against her opposite arm. “It means, ‘They are awake, Come up now!’,” she smirked, obviously very pleased with herself. “We also had this signal.” She placed her elbow of her right arm inside of her left hand and then waved in the air like a flag.

“What did that one mean?”

“That one was for, ‘They are asleep, Come up now!'”

My tired mind slowly processed this information. “So… you had a signal for if we were awake, and a signal for if we were sleeping?”


“But they both said for them to come follow you into our bed room?”

They glanced at each other and then back at me.

“What if we were sleeping, and you guys were supposed to leave us alone, so we could sleep in on a Saturday morning.”

The three of them shrugged in unison and Clara said plainly, “We don’t have a signal for that.”