"Will you play with me?"
"Oh, I'd love to, sweetie, but mommy has to work."
"You always say that."
"I know, sweetie, I'd rather go outside and play with you, but grownups have to work."
"But I don't have anyone to play with."
"You'll make friends soon enough once school starts. Now why don't you run along and mommy will take you to get ice cream later."
"I get two scoops!"
"Two scoops it is, but only if you're good and let Mommy work."
"Mommy? Mommy? Mommy!"
"Shhh, Maggie, you can see I'm on the phone. No, I'm sorry, -It's my daughter, can you hold for one second, please? Thanks."
"Mommy, I'm bored."
"Mommy's working right now, honey."
"I'm bored, play with me!"
"Not now, honey, I told you Mommy's working."
"Don't yell at me!"
"I'm not yelling, I'm sorry, sweetheart. Listen, when I was your age, I used to have tea parties with my stuffed animals. I'd pretend that I was in the tower of a beautiful castle. There was a moat with swans and everything. And we'd all sit in a circle and enjoy our tea and each guest got to choose their own sandwich - anything they wanted. I remember that Mr. Flappy, my pet seal, always got tuna and oysters on banana bread."
"That's gross, Mommy."
"Maybe to you and me, but seals love tuna and oyster sandwiches, especially on banana bread. Do you think that Mr. Binky and Princess Sasha would like tea and a sandwich?"
"I don't know."
"Why don't you go find out."
"Maggie, are you up here? Are you having another tea party?"
"I thought I heard giggling, what's so funny?"
"Princess Sasha spilled her tea all over Clyde's fur and Olive said that he was all wet."
"My, that is funny - now which one is Olive?"
"She's sitting right here, Mommy."
"Yes, Mommy. She makes me laugh. I told her we could play on the porch swing later."
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Olive."
"You know, when I was your age, I had a friend like Olive. Her name was Samantha and we had a lot of fun together. Now come down for lunch soon."
"Maggie, I told you to dry off after your bath."
"I do, Mommy."
"Then why are there wet footprints running down the hall?"
"I don't know, Mommy."
"Maggie, we talked about lying."
"But I'm not lying, Mommy."
"And why did you put your dirty clothes back on?"
"I didn't, Mommy."
"Why are you lying? I have eyes you know and you were wearing that outfit before you took your bath."
"But I didn't take my bath yet, Mommy."
"Maggie, I don't have time for your lies."
"It was Olive."
"You're telling me Olive spilled water all over the floor?"
"She leaks sometimes."
"Maggie, I'm giving you one last chance to take responsibility for your actions and clean this water up. We don't lie in this house."
"But it wasn't me, I'm not lying."
"Go to bed."
"I said go to bed, I don't talk to liars."
"What is it, Maggie?"
"Olive said she's sorry for making a mess on the floor. She says she can't help it sometimes. She hopes you're not still mad."
"What did I say about telling the truth in this house?"
"But I am telling the truth!"
"That's it, go back to your room and don't come out until you're ready to be honest."
"I said go."
"Maggie, your bath is ready, go get in and I'll come check on you in a minute. Don't give me that face, go get in the bath. Now, Maggie."
"... Mommy, the water's freezing!"
"I'm coming coming to check on you. You better be in the tub."
"But it's freezing, Mommy!"
"No it's not, I just ran it and it was nice and warm, now if you're not in there by the time I come in, you're really going to get it!"
"... Maggie, why are you shivering?"
"It's freezing, Mommy."
"It's not freezing, I just ran it, see it's - oh my God, it's ice cold."
"I told you."
"Oh, come here, let's get you out of there. I'm sorry, I just ran it and it was nice and hot."
"You didn't believe me."
"I'm so sorry, honey, let's get you under the covers and we'll read a story together."
"Will you read a happy story?"
"Of course I will - and your friend Olive can listen too."
"She's not here, Mommy."
"She's not? Where did she go?"
"She's hiding from her mommy."
"Why is that? Did she do something wrong?"
"She said she didn't do anything wrong. She said her mommy gets real mad sometimes and that she has to hide."
"Well, mommies get angry sometimes."
"She said that you're a better mommy and that she'd like for you to be her mommy too."
"You tell Olive that I will be her mommy too and that she can visit me whenever she likes."
"OK, Mommy, I'll tell her."
"Maggie, you barely touched your dinner, are you feeling alright?"
"Then why don't you eat some more?"
"I'm not hungry."
"But spaghetti is your favorite, I made it just for you."
"I don't want to."
"How about three more bites? Will you do it for me?"
"I don't want to, Mommy."
"I don't want to stretch."
"You mean grow? Honey, growing is normal, you're getting a little taller every day."
"Not that, Mommy."
"Then what's wrong? Are you afraid you'll get fat? Did the kids at school tell you that?"
"Honey, you're growing, you need to eat to be healthy and strong."
"But I don't want to stretch."
"You won't stretch, I promise. You're beautiful and you need to eat if you want to stay that way."
"But you can't eat too much or stay in the bath too long or your skin will stretch and then it won't work."
"That's not true, honey. Besides, you're too young to worry about that. Why, your skin and bones as they are, you could stand to gain a few pounds. Now eat a few bites for me and then we'll watch some TV."
"Mommy why do you think I'm ugly?"
"Sweetie, I don't think you're ugly, you're beautiful."
"I'm not lying, sweetie, I love you!"
"That's what she said to you, but you didn't believe her, so if what she said was lying, you're lying too!"
"Honey why are you talking in third person? You must be tired, come on, let's go to sleep, and you are not ugly, you are the most beautiful little sweetheart ever."
"Mommy? Mommy, what's wrong?"
"What? Oh, yes, Mommy just... just thought she saw something. I guess I scared myself, everything's fine Maggie."
"But there's nothing there?"
"No, just my reflection in the mirror. I guess I've been working too hard."
"You're scared of the mirror?"
"No, honey, my mind was just playing tricks on me, it happens sometimes when you're tired."
"What's in the mirror?"
"Nothing, nothing, see for yourself."
"It's just us, Mommy. You're funny. You even spilled your water."
"I know, Maggie, I'll clean it up. Now get back to bed."
"What are you doing?"
"Is your friend Olive playing too?"
"No, she's hiding."
"From her mommy?"
"No, from you. She said that you don't like her because you think she's ugly."
"That's not true, sweetie, it's like we learned, you never judge a book by its cover. Remember when we talked about that?"
"So no matter what someone looks like on the outside, it's what's on the inside that matters."
"Yes, Mommy, but Olive said that she wanted you to be her mommy too, but you won't because you think she's ugly."
"Maggie, that's not true, I'll be Olive's mommy too, just like I said I would. Now what does your friend look like?"
"I don't know, Mommy."
"Is she a little girl like you?"
"See, I'd never turn my back on a little girl, no matter what she did. Does she have nice blond hair like you?"
"No, her hair is dark and curly."
"Is she as pretty as you? I bet she is."
"You said she was beautiful, so yes."
"Does she have blue eyes like you?"
"Umm, no her eyes are whiter."
"They're not brown or blue or green?"
"No, Mommy, whiter."
"Is there anything else about her, anything different?"
"Um, yes Mommy, her skin is loose. That's why she leaks."
"Honey, why don't you come sleep in my room tonight."
"I said stop it! You're hurting me! I'm telling my mom! Mommmm, Olive's pinching me!"
"Maggie, why are you yelling? Are you crying?"
"I pinched myself, Mommy. It hurt for a second, but it doesn't anymore."
"I think we need to get out of the house, you've got yourself all worked up. Why don't we go for some ice cream? Maggie, your forehead is wet, were you running around?"
"It's OK, Mommy, I won't leak anymore."
"Leaking? Why you're downright..."
"Can we go for ice cream now, Mommy?"