I'm reading a book in an overstuffed arm chair. It's red, and I have my feet up on the ottoman. I have a pencil and paper and I'm taking notes on a stenographer's pad. A blonde little girl, about age three, maybe four, comes walking up in a blue and white checkered dress.
"Watcha doin, daddy?" She's standing at the arm of the chair, too small to look over my shoulder.
"I'm just reading before din-din."
"Can I help?"
I put down the book, reach over and lift her up over the chair and into my lap. "Sure." I reach over and grab my stenographer's pad and put it on her lap.
"Remember the alphabet song? A B C D E F G, .."
She joins me, and we sing the alphabet. "Well, every letter in the alphabet makes a sound, and when you put the letters together, you can make words."
"Like what daddy?"
I write a large, lowercase d on the page. "What sound does this make? What letter is this?"
"Yep, that's right. And the letter D makes a 'duh' sound, right?
I write the letter a. "And what sound does this letter make?"
"Aaaaaaay." My daughter, the Fonz.
"The letter A is tricky. It makes two sounds. Do you know the other sound it makes?"
She struggles, opening her mouth in awkward intervels, with no sound coming out. She looks at me quizically. Her eyes are big and green.
"It als makes a 'ah' sound. Can you put those two sounds togeter?"
"Very good. All right. I'm going to put another letter down." I write down another lowercase d. "This letter is the same as this one, right?"
"Do you think you can sound out this word?"
"Very good. Say it again, but faster."
"Duh-ah-duh. Duahduh. Dahduh. Dad. Dad!"
"Very good! You just read your first word!" I give her a kiss on the forehead.
"What do we have going on here?" A voice, sounding a lot like Peter's, my first ex, comes from behind the chair.
"Guess who just read her first word?" I tickle her a little bit.
"Oooooh. Congratulations." He leans down over the head of the chair, kisses me on the crown of my head, then moves along and scoops up the little girl. "All right Ms Reader, what word did you learn how to read?"
I raise the stenographer's pad over my head, and he takes it. She looks at it, and then reads "Dad."
"Very good." I'm putting away my book right now.
"All right you two. It's time for din-din. Are you hungry?"
She answers with an overeager bobbing up and down of her head.
And then my roommate's fat pinkmohawked tramp of a girlfriend drunkenly knocks on our door, waking me up. That's the end of that story. I guess I'll never know who my dream boyfriend is.