One lesson at a time

Last night I sent Jon on a walk with the dogs while I gave Leta a warm bath, and after successfully washing and rinsing her hair, a feat on par with giving a manicure to a bucking bronco, we spelled words on the side of the bathtub with a set of letters made out of sponge. She recognized HAT and CAT and SAT, and then we moved on to POT, NOT, and LOT. I then spelled BUT, and when she sounded it out in her head she grinned from ear to ear, pointed out first that it was a silly word, and then she whispered it with her wet hands cupped around her mouth: “BUT.” I said, no, it’s not that kind of but. It’s a different kind of but. And before I could explain she screamed, “YOU SAID BUT!” Causing a fit of laughter that lasted a good five minutes. You thought common conjunctions were funny before you had kids? YOU JUST WAIT.

After the bath I wrapped her in a towel, took her to her room, and started the nighttime routine which involves lathering her body in moisturizer. The dry air in Utah is brutal on the skin, so I make sure to douse every inch of her body, something that she LOATHES, and as I was rubbing it into her forehead she complained that I was taking too long. I said, look, one day when you’re much older and everyone else has wrinkles and uneven spots all over their faces, you’re going to thank me for teaching you how to moisturize. In the name of the Avon World Sales Leader, amen.

“But… but…” she sputtered, her shoulders inching up to her ears in a desperate shrug. “But I’m not even good at putting on my own pants.”