Unfortunately, I hadn't bargained on the fact that removing all her time to impress her most-loved fourteen-year-old would make her unwilling to stay asleep. I thought that once she was out, she'd stay that way at least until 10.30 or so, by which time we'd be back. Instead, she went to sleep pretty soon but woke up (or at least revived herself from an almost-sleeping state) several times to tell Emma important things about tiaras and birthday parties, and to eat a waffle in spite of the good dinner I'd fed her before we left.
But then! At 1.30 am or so, I found myself awake, awaiting the inevitable. I heard Mabel moving around in her room. Here we go, I thought, wondering whether to wake my deeply sleeping husband and send him in first (our new strategy, still in its infancy so I can't say how it's going yet) or just cut to the chase and go myself. But the call didn't come, so I waited. Then I heard her bedside light click on. Hmm, I thought. A few minutes later I heard "...T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z, now I know my ABC, next time won't you sing with me." But still, no call - for me, for Daddy, or even for the babysitter.
Eventually, curiosity got the better of me. I got up, snuck along to her room, and peered in. She was lying with her back to me, still under the bright light, hand twitching a little, but certainly trying to be asleep if not quite there yet. I didn't dare go further in and turn off the light, even though I hate the thought of her sleeping under the glare of a spotlight. Clearly, she doesn't care, so why should I?
I went back to bed, and, after a while, to sleep.
That was it until 7am, when she appeared beside me and crawled into my bed to partake of what was rightfully hers. I happily gave it.
Over breakfast, I congratulated her on putting herself back to sleep.
"Well, Emma said I wasn't to wake up again."
"So you didn't call for her?"
"I see. What if I told you not to wake up again?"
"I'd call for you." Impish grin.
So. I have less authority than a fourteen-year-old. This is not even a surprise.