The Butterfly, who just turned 8 on Monday, has always had something of a blue streak. For example, on the morning of her third birthday, she woke up in her crib, sat up, blearily surveyed the blankets and binkies littered about her, and wondered aloud “Where’s my damn Taggie?”
In belated honor of her eighth birthday, I present a story from Sunday’s Easter dinner, of all days.
The Butterfly was wearing a tee-shirt that read “Hands up for the weekend” in cursive. The Ladybug, who is learning cursive in school, looked at the word “up” and remarked that it looked more like a cursive F than a cursive P.
“On a cursive F,” the Queen B corrected, “the upper loop would reach up to the top of the capital letters.”
“I guess,” said the Ladybug, unconvinced. “But it doesn’t have that… thing… there.”
“What?” asked the Queuen B.
“I think,” I suggested, “that she’s saying the P is missing the pointy bit on its vertical stroke, and without its pointy thing the letter is missing its P-ness.”
A moment of silence…
Then a full minute of laughter.
“That’s not what I meant!” I cried. “I’m referring to the properties of being the letter P, you troglodytes. If I was talking about the properties of being a Q, that would be its Q-ness. If I was talking about the properties of being an S, that would be its S-ness. Get it?”
That which point the Butterfly, who had been more or less quietly eating her dinner up to this point, looked up.
“I guess we should be glad you weren’t talking about the letter A.”