Sunday, April 25, 2004

Carina, four years old, was at my Bawdy Aunt's birthday party.

"Are you a princess or a queen?" I asked pointing to her tiara.

"Princess. Let's play the princess game!"

There was no escaping her after that. I, too, became a princess; the tiara spent the rest of the night on my head.

"Princesses need to wear makeup," said Carina.

"I am wearing makeup." I closed my eyes and pointed to the eyeliner.

"No, princesses wear lipstick. Where is your purse?"

"I must eat first."

Carina almost forced pieces of gum dripping in four-year-old saliva into my mouth. She was strong. Nothing did make it past my clenched jaw. The skin around my mouth felt as if it nested with a Golden Retriever.

Carina and purse followed me around until I put on some lipstick. Red, not pink.

"I am hypo," she said. "I don't sleep."

We gave her more chocolate cake.

She pulled the doll out of her convertible. "This is Princess Barbie. She has a frog at home."

Then we moved to my Bawdy Cousin's dog, Adolf. "Sit. Dance! Dance! Dance!"

Bridal Barbie's dress kept slipping off, leaving her topless.

We felt each other's stomachs to see what we had eaten. Watermelon. If it grows, we'll have puffy stomachs. Carina inflated her stomach to demonstrate the growth cycle of the watermelon.

The bathroom trapped Carina's dad. Bawdy Cousin avoided entrapment by keeping door open. We stood guard. Carina peeked.

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