Baba stands up in her sleep sack and balances precariously on the rocking chair. She reaches out for the light, which I have just switched back on in order to let her turn it off again. She twists the switch, then settles again in my lap and throws her head back into mine.
“What song will we sing?” I ask her, as I always do.
She doesn’t answer.
“See saw?” I ask.
“No,” she says, giggling.
“No, no ABC song.”
“NO TWINKLE TWINKLE.”
“How about horsies?”
She’s silent for a moment and I take my chance.
“Hush-a-bye,” I sing. “Don’t you cry. Go to sleep, my little baby.”
“No baby!” Baba says agreeably.
“When you wake, you will have all the pretty little horses.”
“Blacks and greys, dapples and bays–”
“All the pretty little hor-es-ses.”
“No horses,” she says, snuggling into my armpit. “No horses.”