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”

Throw up.

Rooby: What is throw up made of?

Me: Well, it’s food that has been partially digested in your stomach, but instead of going all the way through, it comes back up.

Rooby: Because there’s something wrong with your stomach?

Me: Yes, sometimes.

Rooby: What is “digested”?

Me: It’s how your body breaks the food down for nutrients.

Rooby: And if it goes one way it becomes poop, but if it goes the other way it becomes throw up?

Me: Right.

Rooby: Because it made the wrong decision.


Rooby: Ruby [Gloom] has a crush on Skull Boy.

Me: What does it mean to “have a crush” on someone?

Rooby: It means that she feels like she wants to marry him. She just feels that way; she doesn’t actually want to.