The boys are fast asleep upstairs, and us girls are enjoying the calm before the storm. I've just finished a cup of tsokolate and gave up the last bit of cheese bread to she with the pleading eyes. She's getting older and slowing down. She can't walk as far, tires more easily and prefers the softer mat to the cold, tile floor. Her hips aren't good, and her kidneys are a constant source of worry but she bears it all without complaint. She puts up with late meals, missed signals to go out and the pushing, shoving, hair-pulling, toy-throwing and madly-careening-bike-riding antics of our little monster.