What's Vivian Thinking?


You know, I’m pretty sure I used to be a kid. I have the photographs to prove it and everything. And you would think that, with my excellent long-term memory (I’m serious; I can remember things dating back to when I was under two), that I could remember some of the strange things that I bedeviled my parents with, with which Vivian now bedevils me.

Case in point: a few minutes ago, after serving Vivian lunch (which she took well, by the way) and a cookie, I was off putting the laundry away when I heard Vivian in the dining room, calling to me.

“Na-na?” she shouts.

And there’s no mistaking that command. I’d bought a bunch of bananas earlier today, and she loves the fruit almost as much as she loves cookies and spicy shrimp. And, sure enough, when I come down, she’s standing by the fruit tray, looking hopeful and pointing. “Na-na?”

“Sure,” I say, plucking one from the bunch. And because I’m always hoping that she’ll have a variety of fruit, I ask, “are you sure you wouldn’t like an apple instead?”

“No,” says Vivian. And stands patiently while I peel the banana and hold it out to her. “Want na-na!”

“Here you go,” I say.

But then Vivian draws back from the thing, as if it were rotten. “No!” she says.

I blink. “Are you sure?”

“NO!” says Vivian, backing further away and turning to run, unaware of her double negative.

“But you asked for a nana,” I say, trying to reason with her — which, on reflection, may have been my biggest mistake.

“Noooo!” shouts Vivian.

“You did!” I say, “You said, ‘want na-na!’ and I opened it for you and everything.”

“NOOOO!” yells Vivian, who takes off. Thus proceeds a chase around the kitchen and the dining room, as Vivian runs in fear of a man brandishing a banana. She eventually takes refuge beneath the dining room table and covers her head, sobbing while I stand outside, banana in hand, looking very perplexed, I’m sure.

Eventually, Vivian musters herself and crawls out from her shelter, and goes to the refrigerator, pointing to the canister at the top. “Coo-kie?”

Ah, I think. Unfortunately, I have to say, “I’m sorry, Vivian, but the cookies are all gone.”

This does not provoke the burst of tears I feared. Instead, Vivian looks philosophical. And, as I get some seran wrap to wrap up the opened banana, she walks over to me with her hand outstretched.


She ate it within the next five minutes.

Anybody have any idea what went on there?

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