Last night, right before bath time, I asked Alice to help me find a shirt. For me. A warm one to sleep in.

She pulled out the skirt I had considered wearing to work but decided against because of the weather.

I thanked her and folded it on top of the laundry basket.

“No away!” she barked.

Huh? “You want me to hang it back up in the closet?” I was about to be pretty embarrassed that my 1-year-old – who, if she doesn’t like the taste of something, simply lets it fall out of her mouth – had something to say about my tidiness. But then, she took the skirt and held it up to her chest.

Not, No, put it away, but Don’t put it away.

OK. “You want to wear it?”

She said, “Huh?”

(Fun tip: If Alice responds “huh?” to your yes/no question, you do not need to repeat yourself. She is answering “yes.” We think it derives from “Uh-huh,” but who knows.)

It took a knot and two rubber bands – let’s call that a bustle – to keep my skirt around her waist and off the floor so she could shuffle over to the mirror and properly admire herself.

She patted her belly and said, “Mama dress.”

I said, “Yes, you’re wearing Mama’s dress.”

Then she said, “No. Alice dress.”


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