Yesterday we were walking to get sushi and we came across a guy carrying an empty 5-gallon water jug. He also had an eyepatch. I knew Dutch was excited. He really loves people who wear eyepatches. But before Dutch could give me a knowing look, Juniper piped up in the voice she uses about 80 percent of the time these days, a voice best-suited for maintaining a conversation with howler monkeys in a crowded bar: "Look dada," she said, "That guy's a PIRATE!"

The man looked at us humorlessly. We shrugged. "Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!" shouted Juniper at the stranger.

You all may think it's wonderful that my husband creates books teaching my daughter about ninjas who say "Hi-ya!" and Greek myths that I don't even remember. I'm really glad he's doing something creative with her, but I still have to deal with it. I have to try to figure out what she means when she says over and over, "Mama, tell a story 'bout you eat cheese," and I start telling her about how I ate a big old piece of smelly cheese, much to her frustration, until Dutch comes in to translate. "She wants to hear about Ulysses." Which is okay, but where do I start? I couldn't get all twenty years of that story straight when I was in high school. The cheese story was a lot easier. And funnier.

At least yesterday, when we walked in the front door of a fancy grocery store in the suburbs, passing a display of perfectly perched produce, Juniper cried in that same voice, "We're here to buy BEER!"

It's good to know I've taught her something.