"How was your morning?"
"Not good. My tummy hurt the whole time."
"That's too bad." Mighty Mouse and I are on our way home for lunch. It's just the two of us as Emma's been invited to a friend's.
"Alan lire-d me a livre today. Elisabeth, too."
It's a good thing I speak French or I'd spend a lot of time not knowing what the hell she's saying. "He read you a book? What was it about?"
"I don't remember." i.e. Feed me then we'll talk.
We get home and Mouse takes off her boots, lowering both zippers without help. She looks up to see if I'm watching and gives me a weak smile. "I'm five," she says.
I make us lunch--ham sandwiches, olives, red peppers, and strawberries. Mouse slumps in a chair to wait, her thumb in her mouth. After a few bites of sandwich, she begins to perk up. Half-way through her peppers she asks if we can play at the computer after lunch. I say yes. She cleans her plate.
Forty-five minutes later, Mouse is all smiles. She puts on her boots, again without help. She lets me zip up her coat, but checks to see if I did it right. I remind her to bring her backpack. She says she won't need it. She brings her baby doll and diaper bag instead. "For recré." Of course--one must always be properly equipped for recess.
We walk back to school and Mouse leads the way. On the front steps she gives me a kiss on the cheek.
"Bye," I say.
But she's already gone.