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.

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.