Because you want pickles for breakfast.
Because you say no with conviction.
Because you smell like pancakes.
Because spaghetti sauce covers your face
and you eat with brow furrowed.
Because your toes are round and dirty.
Because you laugh madly and off-cue.
Because the hair behind your ears erupts
like the wings of a charging goose.
Because you jump hard as if to subdue the earth.
Because a tractor is the ultimate prize.
Because a slide is best used backwards.
Because in my arms you are a strong slippery bass.
Because you lie on your back outstretched
and scoot away like a starfish following the moon.
Because you will wake warm and rumpled,
and call out to the world with shrieks and bouncing,
and when I come, and open the door
you will cry mama! with surprise and joy
as if somehow I were the unexpected gift.