Every evening, I make the rounds through the girls' room to kiss them all good night. I can't forget anyone. Even if it looks like they are sleep, I still bend down and kiss them really gently on the check because they may be pretending, or their sisters may tell them in the morning that Keziah didn't kiss them last night. Then they will come running to me, demanding extra good morning kisses to make up for the ones that got overlooked the previous night.
One time last year, I missed Kattia. The next morning, she came marching downstairs to where I was lining the girls up to go to church. She stamped up to me, her courtiers all around her. "Keziah," she declared loudly and fiercely. "You did not kiss me good night yesterday." I had an excuse (I think the lights went out before I got to her) but something in her regal face told me that she would not be satisfied. So I did the only thing I could think of that would buy her pardon.
I dropped down on both knees in front of her and clasped her hand in mine. "Madame," I implored. "I humbly beg you to forgive me of my crime." She burst into laughter and let me stand and kiss her on the cheek.
Kattia is also the queen of curiosity. All last week, every time I did my good night kiss rounds, I would reach her room last and she would insist that I stay to answer questions. I would stand beside her bed in the dark while she pummeled me with one medical query after another.
"Why do people get headaches?"
"What makes your stomach hurt?"
"Why do we get acid reflux?"
"What causes someone to have a heart attack?"
"What makes you get breast cancer?"
"Why do your knuckles crack?"
Why do your knuckles crack? I wasn't sure how to answer that one. I told her I'd have to look it up and get back to her. She reminded me of that as I hugged her good-bye on Thursday. Man, do these kids have good memories!
She had me going for a whole hour one evening until I finally begged for permission to take a shower and go to bed. She let me go, but only if I promised to come back the next night. "Of course, Your Majesty."