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Lyra was supervising while I cooked dinner tonight, and I gave her a few chickpeas as I was putting them in a salad, mostly because it's so irresistibly cute to hear her call them "bickies".  

"Moh?", she said, with a cartoonish upward lilt as if she read in a guidebook that that's how you ask for something in grownup. This means "more", in this case "more chickpeas?". Never mind how I know this. Parenting skills.  

"I'm making yummy dinner", I pointed out, reasonably. I'm a fairly reasonable person, which I think she appreciates. Or will, by the time she's 36 or so.  

She considered this for a moment, pressing a tiny finger into the dot of bickish water the last chickpea left behind on her tray, then looked up again, a tiny easy-bake-oven light-bulb clicking on above her head.  

"One?"  

"One? You want one chickpea?" I said. I'm assuming that my habit of asking her for clarification will become decreasingly inane as time goes on. She nodded enthusiastically. You might think, from the time-ordering, that she was answering my question, but I've conducted tests, and it turns out that she nods no matter what you say. The nodding is her answer to the implied question "Do you still want whatever you wanted before?" Which is, to be fair, what most of our questions to her amount to.  

"Well, I can hardly deny you one single chickpea." It's OK to indulge children as long as they understand the careful logic behind your actions. I plucked a chickpea off the top of the salad and centered it precisely on the tray in front of her. "One", I explained, pointing to it for helpful pedagogical emphasis.  

She nodded three or seven times, then picked up the chickpea, crammed her whole fist into her mouth, somehow extracted the chickpea from her grip while her hand was inside her mouth, and then pulled her hand out with that great sweeping flourish she's been working on in case she ends up needing a career in rodeo. I turned back to the stove, wondering whether you can say that you've learned to count "to" one. It's kind of "from" one, really.  

Behind me I heard a small finger tap a plastic tray once, moistly.  

"Five?", she said.
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