On things I was not ready to deal with.

Mum! Guess what this is?

It’s a scrap of paper!

Uh, yes. But it has a phone number on it!

Oh cool! Is it one of your new friends from camp?


Whose is it?

L.’s. He’s a boy, and he’s ELEVEN. He gave me his phone number.

On stating the obvious.

[Allie has been very quiet, working away on a project at the table.]

Hey, bud – what’s up?

[She gives me a dark look and says in a quiet, deadpan voice]

I am having sweet fun.

On jokes and isotopes.

I wanted to capture a little video of Allie drawing since she’s made such strides this year. I wasn’t counting on the hilariousness. 


On playing house.

Can you print me off some pictures and information about kitchen stuff? I need to learn a few things.

Oh, like what?

Like about cooking – you know, now that I’m a Mum.

Oh! Er – do you feel like that kind of thing would be your responsibility?

Well, I’m a single-parent so… yes. Obviously, if there’s no other parent, I need to be good at everything.

How interesting.

Yeah, I just went to the sperm bank. [A pause]

It seemed simpler.

On water pressure.

[Allie is running through the new sprinkler.]


On decorating.

I think I should have the words “Brian Cox” painted in GIANT RED LETTERS above my radiator. Then my room would be perfect.

On plans for space exploration.

Mum, I think you’re going to have to get me that LEGO robotics set. If I’m going to be the one that designs the probe to go to Ganymede, Jupiter’s third moon, I really have to start somewhere.

After all, it is the largest moon in the solar system.


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