There’s been a lot more giggling around here lately as Abigail’s sense of humor develops. Her favorite catch phrase of late is “That’s not right!” which she says after initiating or noticing any silliness around her. Yesterday she was swimming in the pool with her dad and asked him to play “sandwich and peekaboo.” He was still trying to figure out what she meant when she laughed and said, “That’s not right! Let’s play cat swimming!”

One of her favorite wordplays is changing Swiper’s name and catchphrase. Sticker no swiffing, Swooper no poofing, and so on. That just doesn’t get old. “That’s not right!” she says, between giggles. Simon’s Cat videos also tickle her funny bone, especially this one:

She was cracking herself up this evening pretending to be Swiper. She would do something she thought of as transgressive, such as walking around with MULTIPLE BAGS ON HER WRIST! Then she would say, “Mommy, say, ‘Swiper time out!’” Then I’d say it and she’d laugh. Other entries in the Swiper Time Out game were licking playdough, pretending to sleep while leaning against the wall, and walking around with a paper bag on her head, bonking into things. Whenever she wants to be mischievous she adopts the Swiper persona. Her weirdest high-jink lately was taking an ear of corn out of the crisper drawer in the refrigerator, shouting, “Ha! You’re too late!” and racing away down the hall with it, me in hot pursuit. She ran into her room and launched it as hard as she could, flying headlong air herself. It rolled to a stop under the rocker as she flopped onto the changing pad on the floor. She shook off the daze and said triumphantly, “You’ll never find it now!” I find life with her so entertaining right now. Some days we reach bedtime and I feel like I’ve been laughing for the past 12 hours. Other days it feels like 12 hours of exasperation. But I successfully got her to eat her entire dinner tonight by addressing her as Swiper and telling her NOT to eat it. Reverse psychology in its purest form! I’m glad she’s found a little wiggle room to be less fearful and less obedient than normal by calling herself Swiper. She hates any dissonance in my relationship with her and almost never rebels as Abi or Baby Cat. But she needs to test those boundaries somehow.