Tonight, Ella took a big bite of food and chomped on it a while. Then she opened her mouth and slowly pushed the food out as we provided an accompanying dialogue: “Don’t spit out that food! Don’t you spit it out! Eat it. Chew it up and swallow it. Don’t … don’t … Ella?”So, she sat in time out. And she sat there quietly. Too quietly. After a minute, she sang out, rather blissfully, “I PEEEEE-eeeeeed. Guys (she calls us ‘guys’ when she’s feeling informal). Guys, I peeeeeeed.”

Did she ever.

We cleaned up the pee, happy that we have wooden floors, cleaned Ella and left her in time out for another minute to complete her original sentence.

I felt like I had to be stern. “Do you know why you’re in time out?”

She, still feeling jocular, replied, “beCAUSE i SPit OUT my FOOD!”

The kid knows iambic pentameter.

I walked out of the room and looked at Trish. Thirty seconds later, after an appropriate fit of laughter, I let the kid go free. She sounded so happy.

………………………………………………………………………………….

A friend we visited in Virginia a few weeks ago, when we saw my dad, sent us a photo of Ella eating a bagel.

I emailed him back and said that Ella’s looking like a real littler person. She’s growing up.

He, a surly 70-something New Yorker, with a wicked sense of humor, emailed back and told me that my child is definitely a real person already, and before I know it she’ll be really grown up and gone, so I’d better stop clowning around.

Oh, yeah? Well, that real person peed on the dining room floor tonight.

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