Little Miss picks a book off the shelf and walks over to me. She turns it over, looking at the blurb on the back.
LM: Love a love a love.
Mama: Is that a book about love?
LM: Yeh. I read it a you. [Pause. Then traces words with her fingers as she ‘reads’] You love Little Miss and Daddy loves Little Miss and Nina loves Little Miss and –
[pause and she reads more of the blurb in silence, I decide not to interrupt…]
Little Miss loves Mummy and [deep breath] Little Miss loves Nina and Daddy.
Mama: Aw! We do! There’s a lot of love in this book isn’t there?
LM: Yeh. [Tracing words with her finger again] Love a love a love. Little Miss loves you and you love Little Miss a love a love. I reading it aren’t I! I reading the words!
Mama: Yes, really well done Little Miss, well done. You’re reading the book to me like I read to you aren’t you?
LM: Yeh. [Reaches for Jack, her toy black Lab.] I read it a Jack now. He loves Baby.
Mama: Aw, does he? And do you love Jack?
LM: Yeh. And you love Jack don’t you!
Mama: Yes, I love Jack too.
LM: [Tracing the words on the book again] Jack love Baby. He wants to eat Baby. NOM!
LM: [laughs manically]
And just like that, the moment was gone.