Meg is crying and clinging to the dustpan long handle. Rebekah has the firmer grip and has wrenched it from the little girl's grasp.
“You have to let me carry it Margaret!” She says, “you'll just fall and drop it!”
I come over to inspect the scene. The dustpan has dirt and pebbles and old coconut husks in it. Rebekah promptly goes downstairs to put it away and Meg slaps the bookshelf. I pick up Margaret and bring her over to my chair.
“I didn't swap Becky!” she tells me.
“I know, but you still slapped the bookshelf. The point is you don't need to hit anything just because you're mad.” She doesn't look at me. I situate her more comfortably on my lap.
“Do you know why she wouldn't let you carry that downstairs?” She still doesn't look at me. “Meg. Do you know why?”
She looks up.
“Because if you brought it downstairs, you might fall and those stairs are cement and you would get hurt very bad.”
“But she wouldn't wet me bwing it downstairs!” She says, her two year old mind unable to comprehend anything but the injustice done her.
“I know, but she did it because she is bigger and she won't fall. You might. She did it because she loves you.”
“Onwy a teensie bit of kids don't wuv me.” She informs me seriously.
“What? Who doesn't love you?” I ask, straightening her t-shirt on her shoulders.
“Well Isaac- I said dat Isaac can't wuv me for a wittle bit.”
I try hard not to smile.
“You said Isaac can't love you?”
“Yeah.” She sees my smile and smiles at me, trying to make me laugh.
She grins “Petehl and Estheh can't wuv me either!” She leans forward to bonk my forehead.
“I can't love you?! But Meg!” I bonk her forehead gently and then kiss the top of her head.
“Nope. But Petehl can.”
“Why?” I ask her in an agonized tone.
“I wanna go to da powech.” She says and climbs off my lap, obviously assuming the conversation is over.
“I wuv yo!” I yell after her.
“Me too!” She yells back.
Little children these days.