Tuesday, December 03, 2002

My niece, the beautiful Princess I., is seven years old. She is in the first grade and learning how to read and write. She's great at phonetic spelling: "ornjs for sal" she wrote on a little piece of paper and put it next to the bowl of clementines sitting in my mother's kitchen.

Her mother (my sainted sister) told me that the other day the Princess I. brought her a piece of a paper and handed it to her with a wicked smile.

"These are your points," she told my sister. The paper had three columns. The heading for the columns were "Princess I." "Daddy" and "Mommy." Under each column was a number - 1,000 under the Princess I., 100 under Daddy and one measly point under Mommy.

Raising children is a thankless job.

The Swedish word for the day is systersdotter. It means niece.

- by Francis S.

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