Penelope hollers at me from her end of the apartment.
"Ugh, I told you not to wake Abby!" I grouse as I go into my bedroom. "Hang out here. I'm going to try to get her back to school."
Abby weepily nurses. All is quiet. Soon her breathing is long and calm between sucks.
The door opens. Penny's little round head looms into view. She is holding her ceramic piggybank. Her lips move.
"What?" I whisper.
"I want to share my piggybank with Abby."
"You can do that later. Right now that's too loud. Go on, I'll be out in a minute."
The door closes. Abby's breathing slows again. I try to unlatch but she grabs back on. I resolve to wait two more minutes.
The door opens. It's Penny. Her lips are moving.
"Huh?" I ask.
"My piggybank is sleeping," she tells me.
"Okay. That's great! Abby's almost sleeping too," I tell her. "Go on."
The door closes. I try to unlatch again. Abby howls and latches back on. This time it'll work, I think. She's just skating the edges of sleep. If I could just get a few quiet minutes.
The door opens again. It's Penny. Her lips are moving.
"What?!" I whisper.
"Momma. I told you NOT to wake up my piggybank."
"All right. I'm sorry."
Penny sidles up to the bed and slips under the covers. She's very, very quiet. I smile at her. She rustles under the covers. From nowhere, as if by magic, she produces ... the ceramic piggybank. SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE.
"Oh for G0d's sake."