Nelly: A heat yak (translation: a tic-tac)
Me, doubtful of a response: How many did you eat?
Me, on finally discovering Tuppence locked into the dressup chest where she had been no less than eight hours, minimum: WHO locked Tuppence into the chest??
Lewis, with studied nonchalance: Um, I think maybe Nelly did. (This was not true. I have trouble closing the lid on the dressup chest.)
Me, just for fun: Nelly, did you shut Tuppence in there?
Nelly, aiding and abetting, with the casual attitude of a juvenile delinquent who knows she won’t be tried in the adult courts: Yeah.
Daddy, looking aghast at a work of theology. NELLY! You don’t draw in books.
Nelly, looking at me erasing Nelly’s work and reinstating Daddy’s underlining: Mama uh-uh-rawing-in-ih. (Translation: “Mama is drawing in it.”)
Inge, on Halloween night: Will there be any scooper-skaters? (tricker treaters)
We don’t know about the rest of you, but that’s what we’re calling ’em from now on.
*** *** ***
Lewis and Inge are playing hide and seek right now. Inge has been hiding patiently for five minutes or so, but Lewis has actually forgotten what they’re doing and moved on. His stream of conversation, faintly audible from the play room, runs like this: Hey, look what I found in the toy box! Hey, can you put this back on my excavator?