We slowly descend the stairs. Her right arm stretches above her head as she grips the banister, smiles at me, and says,
- Caaaaareful. You love careful. I love careful, too!
I open the fridge and exclaim with dismay,
- Oh, no!
- Wha's wrong, mommy?
- We're out of milk, Anna.
- I's okay, mommy. Have some blankie. You feel better now?
- I wanna bagel.
I prepare a bagel quarter spread with sunflower seed butter (a protein-rich sub for peanut butter that she loves) Anna eyes the bagel with disdain.
- No! No peanud budder --- I wanna fresh bagel.
- I'm sorry, sweetie, we don't have any more bagels. Want some jelly on top?
- No. I wanna nother bagel....
[wheels whirl, cogs click]
.... .... a clean bagel.