Four-year-old Leah and I decide to get
take-out Chinese for dinner.
I head for the door, turn around
and there’s Leah stripping down.
Off come the jeans, panties, and yellow t-shirt.
Actually…I like pink today, she says.
Buck naked, she gathers her Build-A-Bears:
Sophia the Rhino, Bubblehead the Pink Poodle,
Lucy the Bear, and Panda, currently nameless.
They’re cold, Leah says. I have to dress them.
Now? Aren’t you hungry?
Leah’s wilting stare makes it clear
there’s a job to be done. We stuff furry limbs
into tiny pink skirts, shirts, and jackets,
fat furry feet into square-toed shoes and boots.
Then Leah wrestles with her own pink wardrobe:
sweats tattooed with tiny sparkling studs
and pink-and-white sneakers that flash when she runs.
Patience worn thin, I point to her smartly turned-out
collection. You’re all fabulous, I say. Now let’s go.
Leah grabs Sophie, shoves a fake cell phone
into a pink plastic purse, slips on six silly bands,
a quick wave to the rest neatly lined up on the sofa,
and we’re off, stomachs growling.