LUCY (as she’s sitting at the dinner table across from me): Hi, Mommy! I drived over to see you!
ME: You did? What did you drive?
LUCY: My car! It’s purple.
ME: I see. Do you have a driver’s license?
LUCY: No! I don’t need that!
ME: I’m not sure that the police would agree. So, are you here for a visit then?
LUCY: Yes. A dinner visit. Thank you for the chicken nuggets.
ME: You are very welcome. It’s lovely to see you, Lucy. Did you drive far?
LUCY: Yes. From my house.
ME: You don’t live with me anymore?
LUCY: No, silly! I’m old!
ME: How old are you?
LUCY: I’m all growed up. I’m five!
ME: The ripe old age of five, huh? What about kids? Did you bring them with you?
ME: How many kids do you have?
ME: Are they boys or girls?
LUCY: They’re girls, of course!
ME: Of course. What are their names?
LUCY: Hmmmm….Peppa and Suzy Sheep.
ME: Interesting names. Are they twins?
LUCY: Mommy, no! One is a pig, and one is a sheep.
ME: Silly me. How old are they?
LUCY: Six and seven.
ME: I see. And are you married?
ME: Who are you married to?
ME: Your baby cousin?
LUCY: Yes. But he’s all growed up too. He’s five. (Leans over to me and whispers) Mommy, I'm just pretending!
ME: Got it. So, in your pretend world, you and Senan are both five, you’re married to each other, and you have six and seven year old non-human daughters. Do I have that right?
ME: And that makes sense to you?
ME: We may need to work on your counting a bit more…among other things.
LUCY: Okay, but I have to go now. C’mon, girls! Let’s go to the store!
ME (waving goodbye): Can’t wait for your next visit. Drive safely.
LUCY (whispering condescendingly): Mommy, I’m not really leaving. I’m pretending, remember?
ME: I know, baby. And you know that there’s no rush to grow up, right?
LUCY: But is there pudding?
ME: Of course.