Today, codenames: Isis and Phoenix (age 3) asked me if I have any scary dreams. I told them (a modified version of) a scary dream I had recently. Isis patted me sympathetically on the arm and said, “Don’t worry, we’ll help you. We jump on people and scare away their bad dreams.” The dream removal process commenced immediately without warning and was enthusiastic and heartfelt, if rather painful. It’ll sure be nice not to have any more scary dreams.
I played a game with a bewildering series of changing rules, involving throwing a ball, singing “Pump Up the Jam” (?), and drawing exactly what I was instructed to draw on successively smaller pieces of paper, the final one of which was the size of a coconut flake and which Isis produced from her mouth. When I protested that I could not draw a scene of a cat and the Easter Bunny on an infinitesimal and soggy piece of paper, Isis declared me the winner of the game and promised me two pieces of chocolate, which no one has delivered to me yet.
Today a little girl came looking for me in a dark room, wearing a tutu around her neck like the ruff of a frilled dragon. A moment before, I’d noticed Phoenix wearing her tutu that way, but this looked like Isis – though there wasn’t much light – so I said, “Sweetheart, I can’t see you. Are you Isis?” (They’re identical twins.) “No,” she said. “I’m Phoenix.” I opened my mouth to apologize – how awful of me to misrecognize my own niece – then got a funny feeling and decided to turn on the light before saying anything. The child was lying to me. She was totally Isis. This is probably the fifth time one of them has tried to pull this trick on me. So far I’ve always known I’m being tricked – they just don’t look the same to me, these girls – but I must say, their technique – and their acting – is becoming more sophisticated. I am in trouble.
Phoenix was climbing a high rock wall today and got scared. It was my dear privilege as an aunt to be able to say probably one of the best things anyone ever gets to say: “I will not let you fall.”