Last night at dinner, Nora made a representation of our family in asparagus. There were two tall pieces for Ben and me, and a half-eaten one for her. She held the little family up for me to see.
“This is us! This is daddy, and this is you and –” the smallest spear slipped from her hand and onto the floor.
“I want that!” she cried! “I want me!”
I swooped in and plucked Asparagus Nora off the floor just as our dog, Hoover, was moving in to eat her. Strangely, I felt heroic.
Seeing our family in everyday objects is one of Nora’s favorite pastimes. We are toothpicks, candles, pieces of cheese.
Nora sees herself as a character in every book and makes me replace the character’s name with hers. If she tells me she is Swiper Fox, I must read the story using her name in place of his — and she calls me on my every slip of personal pronoun. She is also fond of flipping story lines. When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry becomes When Sophie Gets Happy, Really, Really Happy. At the end of the story, when Sophie returns home, instead of the house being warm and smelling good, I must say, “the house was cold and stinky.”
I realized that she is having great fun figuring out her place in the world and then trying to flip that world on its ear. I’m hoping she puts this tactic to good use as she grows older. Or I’m in big trouble.