She sits at the kitchen table, all mismatched pajamas and rumpled breakfast hair. She’s eating raisins because we’re all out of blueberries and if she had her way the hours before noon would be devoted to a slow and sultry consumption of fruit.
“Mommy,” she says in that tone that tells me whatever she’s about to say will have absolutely nothing to do with anything. “Can you please stop calling me Trouble?”
I take a bite of my oatmeal and fill her water bottle for camp. “Sure, if it bothers you. But when I call you Trouble, I’m doing it ironically. Do you know what ‘ironic’ means?”
She shakes her head, picks up a raisin.
“Ironic is… ironic means… well, ironic is calling you Trouble because you’re not at all trouble.” Nicely done, Rosenbaum. I’ll be getting hate mail from her ninth-grade English teacher a decade from now.
Nonetheless, she seems to understand. It’s hard to tell with her, because just when you think she’s all Luna Lovegood, she pops out with Hermione. She nods, smiles, picks up her brownie. The brownie is there because she most certainly does not have her way. True, it’s a whole-wheat, maple-syrup sweetened, zucchini brownie, but I’m still probably the only mother in the area code who insists that her kid has to have a brownie with her fruit at breakfast.
“These brownies are really rich,” I say, cutting one to pack in my lunch.
“You’re just joking,” she giggles. “Brownies can’t be rich because they don’t have purses.”
“That’s true. But ‘rich’ is one of those words that has two meanings. It has the literal meaning of a lot of money, but it also has a metaphorical meaning.” And then, because I can’t resist fucking with that ninth-grade English teacher: “Do you know what ‘metaphorical’ means?”