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“Mama, why didn’t you feed me 210 pieces of sun?”

We are at the gas station. This question comes mere moments after her astute observation that I washed all the bird poop off her window.

“Because you are my daughter,” I said. “You are a real girl and not a star, and I know you need to eat food.”

“Mama, something only I and all the goddesses of the world know is that we are all stars. Everything is made of stars. Even people. Even food.”

“Oh really?”

“Really. Even the planets are all made of stars. Actually, some of the planets that go around the sun and the moon and the earth are made of dirt. But even that dirt is made of stars. That is actually true.”

It is actually. True.

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Rio: That’s STUPID!

Rio’s friend: You are not old enough to say ‘stupid’. ‘Stupid’ is a bad word.

Rio: STUPID STUPID STUPID

Rio’s friend: Stop! You’re not OLD ENOUGH!

At this point I step in with a reminder to Rio about using polite words and an admonition to her friend not to be bossy.”You are not in charge of Rio,” I say.

“No,” she mutters under her breath as I walk away. “But I am an expert.”

Rio: That’s STUPID!

Rio’s friend: You are not old enough to say ‘stupid’. ‘Stupid’ is a bad word.

Rio: STUPID STUPID STUPID

Rio’s friend: Stop! You’re not OLD ENOUGH!

At this point I step in with a reminder to Rio about using polite words and an admonition to her friend not to be bossy.”You are not in charge of Rio,” I say.

“No,” she mutters under her breath as I walk away. “But I am an expert.”

We’re at the library reading a lot of otters, in which a lot of otters find some fallen stars and play with them. At one point they taste the stars.

“Have you ever tasted a star, Rio?”
“Yes.”
“What do they taste like?”
“Stars.”

We’ve been observing a lot of changes in Serena lately. She’s walking, she’s talking, she’s eating with utensils and playing with toys and expressing intentions. Rio has heard me say many times that Serena is not a baby anymore, that she’s a toddler or a kid, and that she’s growing very fast. I suspect that was the background to this conversation in the van:

Rio: Mama, Serena is going to be an old lady soon, right?

Me: Well, not soon in human terms. Many years will pass.

Rio: First she has to be a kid, and then a mama, and then she has to have a life, right? And then she will be an old lady?

Me: Yep. pretty much.

Rio: I don’t want to be dead.

Me: I don’t want you to be dead either. But death comes at the end of all our lives. It’s OK.

Rio: And then I will be alive again right?

Me: Yep. Eventually we all cycle back around into life in one form or another.

Rio: How long do you think that will take? Maybe two days?

Me: Two days is one theory. No one really knows how long it takes to become alive again after we die.

Rio: I think I will take two days. Because I am stronger than everyone. Look at my muscles!

(strenuously flexes every muscle in her body, screwing her face up tight and raising her clenched fists in triumph)

We picked the first strawberries from the garden today, which resulted in this conversation:

“Mama! I ate all the strawberries!”

“I thought you were saving them to share with your family?”

“Well, yes. But I was so excited, and I didn’t have any room in my tummy to not eat them.”

“You did not have any room in your tummy to not eat the strawberries?”

“Right. I only had room to eat them all up.”

Driving home from preschool today, Rio and I fight about whether or not she can ride in the booster seat. I tell her that we’ll talk to her doctor at her fourth birthday, but that right now she is not big enough to safely ride in a booster.

Rio: “It’s safer than my car seat though, Mama. Remember when you forgot to buckle my car seat and I slipped out and it was not safe? That was not safe. Daddy let me ride in the booster and that did not happen. I did not slip!”

Me: “Yeah. That was over a year ago. I’m surprised you remember. And I think when you grow up you will be a lawyer. You can support me when I’m a failed novelist.”

Rio, bursting into tears: “NO! No! Don’t say that Mama! That’s not nice! Lawyer is not a nice word!”

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A little bird told me…

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