The girls’ room at Benjamin’s preschool is pink. The toilets are low, requiring more concentration than I usually put into that particular activity, but the sinks are normal height. There are stools near the sinks, usually used by three-year-olds for hand-washing, but also a lovely spot for Lilah to sit, kicking her legs and smiling, while she waits for me to pee.
As I tinkled and Lilah sat, a teacher walked in with two girls. “Well, hello!” she exclaimed. Lilah responded with a noise of reciprocal delight.
I zipped up and came out of the stall. This was not one of Benjamin’s regular teachers, but she is occasionally in his classroom and knows me by sight. She turned to Lilah. “You must be Lucy. Benjamin was talking a lot about you today.”
I sighed. “No, actually, this is Lilah. Lucy is Benjamin’s hand puppet.”
The poor teacher looked rather abashed. “Oh, I just thought…”
“I know. He talks about Lucy as if she were alive. And he talks about her a heck of a lot more than he talks about his sister. In fact, he probably would gladly trade this one in for Lucy.” I smiled as reassuringly as I could and then led my toddler from the lavatory so we could go wait for Benjamin to come out of his classroom. As we stood there in the hall, another teacher walked by.
“Hi, Lucy,” she sang out, patting Lilah on the head.