Rooby: I had a great idea about how to catch that mouse.

Me: What is it?

Rooby: We need cactus traps.

Me: Cactus traps?

Rooby: Yes.

Me: How does a cactus trap work?

Rooby: We put cactuses all around the house and the mouse runs around and pokes itself on the pointy part and when it stops to say “Huh? Hey! What was that?” we pick it up by the tail and put it outside.


Rooby, fondly watching Bella, my mom’s cat: I bet Bella would like some catnip.

Me: Maybe she would!

Rooby: I know what catnip is.

Me: You do?

Rooby: It’s blood.

Me: Huh. Well, that’s interesting, but I’m pretty sure it’s a kind of plant that cats really like.

Rooby, slightly disappointed: Oh.

Me: Why did you think it was blood?

Rooby: Well, in Marshmallow, it says the kitty’s mice are filled with catnip.

Me: Yes, it does.


Rooby: What does “scarred” mean?

Me: Like when you have a cut on your skin that heals, but there’s still a mark there? That’s a scar.

Rooby: Oh. What does “emotionally” mean?

Like this.

Rooby, in my mother’s house, playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild while I look on, showing me this green foam spoon: Mummy, do this to me. [Waves spoon at her head]

Me, taking spoon, bopping it on her head like she was doing to me yesterday while I was playing: Like this?

Rooby: No, not so close.

Me, waving spoon at her from a distance: Like this?

Rooby: Closer than that.

Me: Like this?

Rooby: Not so fast.

Me: Like this?

Rooby, taking my hand and demonstrating exactly the distance and speed at which I must wave the spoon at her: Like this, Mummy. Like I’m your queen.


Me, looking out Rooby’s bedroom window, to Rooby, who is in bed watching her iPad, and whose enthusiasm for snow, in my experience, is unflagging and unsurpassed: Did you see how much snow fell last night??

Rooby: No.

Me: Come look! It’s amazing!

Rooby, sighing: Okay. [Gets out of bed, looks out window. Concedes, flatly] Yes. There is very much snow. Amazing.


I dreamt that Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” was a different poem, in three longer stanzas, the second one opening

reading and writing, and sex and…

and it was well known that the poem was about Ted Hughes’s notorious contempt for Plath’s reading habits

and the bookshelf behind our bed held each of our books on the side where we sleep, which in my dream was the reverse of how we actually sleep

and my side, i realized, was full of anthologies, teaching texts taking up all the shelf space

and D walks in and i say “where did all these Norton anthologies come from and why are they on my shelf” and i hurled one at him, though in my dream this volume of the Norton was shaped more like a Riverside

and he ducks and says “i don’t know, i just brought it home from the gym”