Trish stayed home sick on Friday and I stayed home Monday, the two days when the sitter comes to play with Ella. So this morning I was dreading Ella’s reaction to Danielle’s arrival, especially considering our last exchange about her.

Does Ella really not like her? Is David Danielle really not a good sitter? Is she evil? Or does she keep Ella in line and therefore wears the bad-guy hat at times. There were clues that Ella was less than angelic the last time — dog prints in the house, the empty ice cream sandwich box.

But Ella was in a pretty good mood this morning. She even asked, “When does Danielle get here?”

Aha! She does remembered her name! When she called her “What’s her name” , she was faking it.

Danielle might not be the most playful sitter, maybe not the most fun, and Ella clearly didn’t enjoy the last day Danielle visited. But this morning gives me hope. Maybe they’re getting used to each other. Maybe they’re bonding. Maybe we didn’t hire a Joan Crawford disciple.

After Danielle arrived this morning we were talking about activities — story time, checking out library books and movies, the playground, a hands-on museum called Imagination Station — Ella said, “I want to go everywhere!”

I guess that’s a good sign.

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A few weeks ago, when Ella wasn’t within earshot, I asked Danielle how it was going, if Ella gave her a hard time. She looked at me and cocked her head. “Ella’s really … she’s really …” and I was thinking, what? really dirty? really weird? really clingy? “she’s really smart for a not-yet 3-year-old.”

Oh, that. Yes. We know. She’s a smart kid. But give us a little credit! Is it really so shocking that our daughter is smart? Trish and I aren’t going to win a MacArthur award anytime soon, but we know how to feed ourselves. I can finally do long division with very little assistance.

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