“I don’t get to do ANYTHING, I am EVERYTHING, I DON’T LIKE it, and I – no, no, NOOO!” Three minutes later after she channeled Sam Kinnison she takes on an English accent ala’-Peppa the Pig, “Mum’a, may I have a tea party, please?” (Why, yes, sweetness and light. Of course I’ll go out of my way to do something nice for you now that you’ve cloaked Satan back into the toy basket. By all means, would you like clotted cream or cream cheese with your tall mug of kiss-my-ass?)

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Certain words get jumbled in your brain between the spelling and the meaning and this certainly is true for a beginning reader. So when we approached the elevator door and Nora asked to push the button after asking for her granola bar this shouldn’t draw attention. Except she calls elevators “alligators” and peanuts are “penis”. So the poor old dude walking by us heard, “Mama, can I press the button for the alligator and eat my penis bar?”
I raised my eyebrows and smiled manicly trying to convey in silence my best “Kids today, am I right?”  type of look.
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I’m in the kitchen making breakfast while they listen to their nursery rhymes together. He won’t stop jabbering over and through her songs. It’s driving me nuts hearing so many high pitched voices competing with each other.
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All of a sudden Owen is crying. I swoop back into the room and Nora is looking guilty, huddled to one end of the couch. Owen looks up at me in tears from his stunned, upturned Kafka-esque beatle belly up position on the floor in front of her. I lock eyes with Nora, “I didn’t do it.”
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She asked me the other day if I was angry. My reaction was to immediately deny it, I felt guilty, recovered myself and admitted that, yes, I had been angry but I wasn’t now. I asked her how she knew. She said I looked like I was mad at Papa, that she had a tantrum, or that Owen was being too loud. That pretty much sounds like a normal day so I guess I better work on a better poker face.
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“May we watch Chocolate Battery?” Pointing at the title of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on the screen. Her reading skills seem to have taken on some of the peculiarities like my own. She asked me if I liked chocolate, I said,
“I do, I like dark chocolate. What type do you like, Nora?”
“I like the brown chocolate.”

Barbara Ann Kelso

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