Last night Miriam didn't want to go to bed so I let her have a "special time" (her words). She stayed up and helped me clean the house in preparation for our home inspection today.
Before I go on, I should tell you that Miriam is in love with the musical Les Miserables these days. She wants to listen to it all the time and has large segments of the lyrics memorized. Here's a small sample of her singing (from the beginning, "Look Down"), best enjoyed if you're already familiar with the musical (or you can view the original here).
As she was scrubbing the baseboards last night, past her bedtime, I heard her humming some tunes from the musical and then softly, so softly, she broke out in song at this part of "Castle on a Cloud":
"There is a castle on a cloud;
I like to go there in my sleep.
Aren't any floors for me to sweep.
Not in my castle on a cloud."
It was a tender, pitiful moment, and I felt like a slave driver mom. It was as if Miriam had become the little Les Mis waif.
A few minutes later she told me she wanted to go to bed, which is pretty much the first time those words have ever been spoken by her. She was like little forlorn Cosette, except she did have a nice queen-size bed to sleep in, not a pallet on the floor.
And now I've discovered the secret to enforcing a punctual bedtime.