DoctorSister’s sharp wit plus photos

“So she really needs to start learning how to go to sleep herself soon,” DoctorSister says, eyeing EarlyNiece as she bangs her hands on the table.

“You fed to sleep until you were at least a year old,” Mum says.

DoctorSister puts her paintbrush down and raises her eyebrows. We’re painting pots, for no reason at all, really. I’ve painted a teapot bright orange and drawn Benny’s face on one side and printed EarlyNiece’s feet on the other. A classic design.

“Great,” DoctorSister says. EarlyNiece is eight months old. DoctorSister goes back to doctoring at the end of the summer; EarlyNiece is on a sleep deadline (the worst thing for insomniacs, which she definitely is).

“Whereas you,” Mum says, turning to me, “were so independent. When you wanted to go to sleep you just didn’t want to know. You just wanted to be on your own.”

I smile. “That’s funny,” I say. “I’m not really like that now.”

“Yes,” DoctorSister says. “And most of the time, I don’t need feeding to sleep, either.”

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