The husband gives them their bath every night. Can I call you? the girl asks before she heads upstairs. Yes I say.
From the top of the stairs she calls out We're ready! They hang onto the gate and wait in anticipation for me to appear. Wet hair, wet bodies they squeal when they see me.
You are a tiger, mama she says. A silly tiger. Or a scary tiger. I walk up the stairs giggling or growling. They scream and run away down the hallway. I am expected to follow and chase them.
Sunday night they were both too sick to play our game. No blond heads met me at the top of the stairs.
Yesterday they were better. Ready to run and chase and squeal.