I stop the boys just as they're about to catch her. "You don't deserve to be rescued," I tell her, "but it's bedtime."
Jasper and Daisy take baths and put on their pajamas and then ask Nic to read to them.
He sits on a miniature couch between their twin beds, his long legs stretched out on the floor. He reads from The Witches, by Roald Dahl. We hear his voice—voices—from the next room: the boy narrator, all wonder and earnestness; wry and creaky Grandma; and the shrieking, haggy Grand High Witch.
"Children are foul and filthy! … Children are dirty and stinky! … Children are smelling of dogs' drrrroppings! … They are vurse than dogs' drrroppings! Dogs' drrroppings is smelling like violets and prrrimroses compared with children!"
Nic's performance is irresistible, and the children, as always, are riveted by him.