“What’d you do in therapy?” I ask Maddie.
“They had me do the sphinx.”
“The sphinx? What’s that?”
“Is that where you are… Is that like a push up?” asks Mom.
It’s like when you’re in the sphinx, and you lift your butt up…”
“I don’t know what a sphinx is,” I say.
“The sphinx? In Egypt?”
Oh. That sphinx.
“Oh Dad, Daddy,” says Linn. “Today umm…, in gym, we played hockey, but not really hockey, but you ah… sit down in kinda’ like a sled, with blades on the top…”
“Kinda’ like hockey?”
“No. Yeah, but…”
“I fail to see the resemblance so far,” says Maddie.
“The hockey sticks have spikes on the bottom…and umm…”
“Alright. So, you’re on sleds… with blades on the bottom… ”
“Yeah. No. No. You… ah… It’s almost like… like this sled that you, that you stand…”
“…and you hold your feet on this thing…”
“Where you put your feet in?”
“No. Um… And we have these two hockey-stick-thingys, and they have blades at the bottom… It’s almost like you’re pulling yourself with them.”
“They have wheels on the bottom,” says Maddie.
“It’s cross country skis,” add Daniel.
“It’s kinda like skiing though?”
A Bad Mistake
“What? You don’t like your noodles?” I ask Linn after noticing she still hadn’t touched them.
“I guess not,” says Mom.
“It’s not nasty,” says Mom.
“You see? Now you made her cranky,” I tell Linn referring to Mom.
“You already made her cranky.”
“Nope. Mom likes me.”
“No I don’t,” says Mom. “I did and then realized my mistake.”
“She… she said that she, she made a bad mistake,” says Linn.
“Oh, I did?” Mom laughs, nervous.
“You did! You said you made a bad misnake marrying him,” Linn says, excited by outing her mother and mispronouncing mistake.
“When did I say that?”
“I remember you saying that,” says Daniel.
“What?” I say. “Made a bad mistake of what? Oh, marrying me?”
“Yeah,” say Linn and Daniel in tandem, nodding with solemn inevitability of a storm they are sure will follow.
“Oh, yeah. Probably,” I agree.“You don’t have to eat the noodles, just drink your milk” I tell Linn, curious to see which she thought was nastier.
The noodles win. She puts on such a brave face as she drinks half the glass, I start to feel uncertain about the freshness of the milk and the depth of the drama and decide I’d better check it.
“Give me your glass.”
She hands it to me. I sniff it. I don’t smell anything bad, so I take a drink. It’s fine. Just another dinner.