Zig-zag butterfly

I finally realised a while back why parents’ anecdotes about things their kids say and do struck me as so banal before I became one myself: it’s because you have no calibration for what’s remarkable.

Anyway, tonight as I read my two year-old daughter The Cat in the Hat at bedtime, when we got to the line “And look! With my tail! / I can hold a red fan!” she said, with some effort, “Daddy, the fan is like a butterfly! A zig-zag butterfly! Like [the butterfly in the garden she named] Dotty!” And I am undone.

An illustration from The Cat in the Hat; the cat is holding a red fan in its tail which has a white zig-zag pattern on it