A number of words and sentences either bring amazement and joy or horror and fear into my life, depending on the context. I’ll provide three examples. “I did that” can mean my daughter got herself dressed, including finding matching socks (something I still have problems doing for myself on occasion), and has strapped herself into her stroller and is ready to go. Or… “I did that” can mean that she dumped out all her toys, somehow located a sharp object, poured water everywhere, and poked holes in my clothes, which are, somehow, inexplicably also on the floor. When my daughter yells “Mommy mommy mommy” when I arrive to pick her up from school, it is one of the best moments of my day. When I am trying to have a short phone conversation and my daughter decides she wants all my attention, yelling MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY (over and over and over again as loudly as possible) to get it, I almost wish she had never learned how to say mommy. “Read the book, read the book” can be amazing, I love that she loves reading. It is great when she picks out a book we both enjoy. “Read the book, read the book” when it is used as an excuse to not go to sleep (and I am exhausted) or when she is trying to get me to read AGAIN some book I do not like reading and have already read to her (repeatedly) is really annoying. I also feel like she has figured out that I do not like denying this request and is manipulating me. “I love you” is never annoying. It is always wonderful. We read I love you, Stinky Face (written by Lisa McCourt and illustrated by Cyd Moore). It’s a sweet story about a mother letting her kid know that no matter what she will always love him (even if he were a skunk or a crocodile or a dinosaur or an ape). He imagines that he is a variety of not traditionally lovable creatures (my daughter, predictably, yells, “Don’t eat, kiss!” at this picture). My daughter also spent a day saying “I love you, stinky face” rather than “I love you, mom.” I have to admit, it makes me less likely to want to read the book. It doesn’t change the sentiment, but it also doesn’t make me feel particularly awesome. Just when I thought “I love you” was unambiguously safe.