I was awake extra early this morning because Jill joined us in our bed sometime…I don’t know exactly when, because I can’t read the clock with my glasses off, but I guess it was around 4:00 or 4:15. Lately she’s been doing that and going back to sleep, but this morning she fidgeted, squirmed, and whined while still half-asleep until she finally snapped out of it at around 4:50 and asked for a drink. I got up with her hoping that Kim would be able to get a little more sleep before I had to leave for work. She drank some juice and then started playing on the floor, and then we had a conversation that was similar to about 10,000 other conversations I’ve had with her and her sister.
Jill picked up a little plastic toy off the floor and asked me what it was.
“That’s just a little Lego person,” I said.
She shook her head and said, “It’s not a person, it’s a boy.”
“Boys are persons, too,” I said. “Little girls and little boys are persons.”
“No, boys are jinnelamins!” she replied.
I didn’t know what she was saying. “They’re what?”
“Boys are jinnelamins. You told me that.”
“I did, huh?” I had to be careful. Making her repeat a word that no one else understands more than a couple of times often leads to her throwing herself on the floor and wailing in frustration, and it was still just ten minutes past five; everyone else was still asleep.
I decided to triangulate, in a way, on the word she was using. “What are little girls, then?”
“Little girls are layadees.”
It worked. “Oh!” I said, “Ladies and gentlemen. I got you.”