What Does the Fox Say?


Out from the plush green dragon’s zippered belly came an orange and green metal truck,

“Here grandma, the dragon brought this home you should take it back to your house.”

In the course of watching Fox that day I told him that Uncle Jarrett had made him a ring- a super power ring- out of a coin but I’d forgotten it. That really niggled away at Fox; he was desperate to get that ring in his little mitts and every few minutes he’d be back in my face to remind me to bring it next time,

“Maybe you could go home right now and get it,” Fox said in that sort of  adult speaking to a child way about how I could make things right if I put on my big girl pants.

“There’d be no one to watch Aoife,” I countered.

Fox’s next plan was to grab a sheet of his stationary and jot a few notes to Jarrett. He brought the scribble lines to me and said,

“What does this say?”

Toddler writing is different than toddler drawings, with drawings you can say things like, “Tell me about what you’ve drawn,”  and thereby deduce what the drawing is  and then exclaim over it. With words, you can either read them. Or Not.

“Fox, I don’t know what it says, what does it say?”

“It says, ‘Thank you, Uncle Jarrett, for the ring that I hope grandma will remember to bring next time.’”

He folded it in half and then along three sides that weren’t folded made little half inch fold-downs to form a sort of envelope which he quickly, furiously unfolded and began to scribble again with decided determination, all the  while his head bent down at his paper but his eyes shooting up in my direction. He spoke as he wrote,

“Maybe grandma can remember next time.” and finished with, “That part is for you so you don’t forget.”

Never even mind he was the one who ripped off grandma’s sturdy metal truck.

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