Pictures Speaking Words

"Mama," she says, "what is Spider Man saying?"

"I dunno, baby."

"You don't know?" Her voice is incredulous.

"Um, sorry?" Usually I have a hint as to where her mind is going and what the appropriate response should be. Just a few moments earlier she was Mom and I was Kid and before that I was Mama Barbie and she was Barbie the Pirate. Each scenario came with clear instructions from my child, no questions left as to what my lines were or who was in charge of the production.

This time, however, I've been blind-sided. We have just arrived home from a birthday party and the Spider Man cup filled with happy trinkets was better than any old gift bag. You can't practice filling a gift bag with ice and water from the ice dispenser on the refrigerator just because you are tall enough to reach it now.

"Mama, you silly," she says, pointing to Spider Man's hand. "I love you. He's saying, 'I love you'."