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She is dancing around me as I clean up the kitchen, put books away, and pick things up off the floor.  She helps a little and then flits off, distracted by a sudden idea.  I turn around and she has a pencil wrapped around a lock of her hair.  “Can I use your hair clip to hold this in place?”  I take my clip out of my hair and hand it to her.  But it is a large clip — meant for holding a whole mass of hair.  “This is too big,” she says, matter-a-factly.

“You could use a clothespin,” I offer.

She goes into the kitchen and rummages around the utensil drawer.  She finds one and asks if we have any more.  She opens the deep drawer filled with bulk grains and snacks.  She takes a second clothespin off a bag of chips and disappears upstairs.

A few minutes later she reappears in my office, asking, “How long do you think I need to leave these in?  All night?”