Caroline is an affectionate person, to a certain point. At night when I put her to bed she’ll hook her arms around my neck and not let go, coercing me to lie next to her for just a little bit. It is hard to resist that hook, since so often these days she spends her time practicing to be twelve, scowling at me and telling us vigorously to shhh when we say something distasteful to her (as in, just about anything she didn’t think of herself). So the hook works, and she can keep me for that little bit, until her delight turns to wiggles and she starts poking and prodding, or (if she’s feeling particularly silly) licking my glasses. But while she’s physically demonstrative, she’s not much for saying I love you, and has come up with her own version of the last bit of my good night ritual, when I say I love you, and she says hello garfield.
It took me a week or two to figure out this Garfield business, and it wasn't until tonight, lying beside her while we sang our good night songs and enjoyed the end of a fine weekend, that I realized what had happened. When I said I love you, she used to mumble I luv you or even I guv you. Then one night she switched to I Garfield, then to Hi Garfield. Tonight, perhaps inevitably, she decided on Hello Garfield. As a teenage three year old I guess she thought that even the cool kids couldn’t figure that one out, should she slip up and say it on the playground one day.
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